Now that the temperature is warming it is time to start thinking about spring cleaning your home. While most think of de-cluttering and giving the interior of your home a good scrub at this time of year, there are also spring cleaning items to check off your list that can help prevent home insurance claims. Ensuring you cycle through this list at least once per year will help ensure your home is running efficiently and reduces the risk of preventable claims.
- Examine your roof for any leaks, cracked or missing shingles. Repairing damage to a roof before it results in a water claim can save you significant time and money in the future. If you’re unsure of what to look for, or are unsure if your roof needs repair it is recommended to have your roof inspected by a professional.
- Clean out your gutters to rid them of any debris built up from the winter. Gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home to help prevent pooling water and leaks. Being proactive in cleaning these on a yearly or semi yearly basis depending on where your home is will help ensure you don’t have a preventable water loss.
- Maintain your yard including trees & hedges around your home. Taking the time to trim away branches or hedges that are leaning on, or touching your home helps to prevent unnecessary mold or rotting on the exterior of your home. Additionally, keeping shrubbery trimmed and minimal helps to ensure thieves don’t have cover to break into your home.
- Survey your driveway & walkways for any cracks or uneven pavement that could be a tripping hazard. Being proactive with fixing tripping hazards that have sprung up from shifting pavement after a cold winter can help prevent a liability claim from someone falling on your property.
- Check your hot water tank for any signs of dripping, cracking or corrosion. Signs of wear on your hot water tank are not always obvious from the outside of the tank, so it can be best to check the serial number of your tank to determine the age. It is recommended any tanks over 10 years old be replaced to prevent a water loss due to the tank letting go.
- Check your smoke detector batteries. If in doubt, it is recommended to change the batteries every 6 months to ensure they’re in working order. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, be sure to check it at the same time.
- Clean your dryer vent hose to rid it of lint build-up that has escaped the lint trap. This is an easily overlooked area of your home that if left to build up can cause a fire. Be sure to also clean the area around the exterior hose vent to help prevent build-up.
- Check the seals on your windows and doors for any cracks in caulking or gaps or cracks in weather stripping. Repairing these items will help to prevent condensation build up, mold or heat loss during next winter. It is easier to fix, or better yet prevent, these problems when the weather is a bit warmer, rather than rushing to fix them during the winter.
Remember, if you do replace any large items such as your roof or hot water tank be sure to let your local insurance broker know so your policy can be updated.