Avoid a Home Insurance Claim: Spring Maintenance Tips
It’s an ideal time of year to put on your favourite tunes, roll up your sleeves, and get down to some spring cleaning. This change of season is also a great opportunity to be on the lookout for potential home maintenance issues. Afterall, tending to seasonal wear and tear before it gets to be a problem is one of the best ways to avoid a home insurance claim. Here are some tips for protecting your home:
Doors & Windows
Make sure all seals, weatherstripping, screens, and frames are in good condition, and replace anything that’s cracked or loose. If you notice any squeaky doors, here’s a simple fix for oiling hinges and keeping the mess to a minimum.
To breathe better and minimize spring allergies, inspect any air filters throughout your home, and clean or replace as needed. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to remove dust from your kitchen hood fan, bathroom fan, and furnace filter. If you’re preparing to use an air conditioner, make sure to clean or install a new filter before getting it up and running.
Make sure the smoke alarm goes off when you need it to, and your CO detector works if carbon monoxide levels reach a dangerous point. Take a moment to install fresh batteries in these, and any other home safety devices.
Pipes & Hoses
Lots of household appliances have hoses and pipes that wear out over time, especially if those hoses are made of rubber and carry hot water. Take a good look at any tubing that’s part of your washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator. If there are any visible cracks, prioritize replacing them so you don’t end up with water everywhere when you least expect it.
Gutters & Downspouts
While you’re doing some spring planting, or just enjoying a moment outside, check that your gutters and spouts are properly attached. Water draining towards the foundation is a major (but avoidable) culprit when it comes to basement leaks and flooding.
We just went through a windy winter in many parts of British Columbia. Whether you have wood or vinyl siding on your house, take the time to do a walk-around and see if you can spot any loose boards or cracks in need of repair. If you have vinyl siding, then it could be time to schedule a power washing to remove moss and mildew, or even do it yourself.
With binoculars in hand, scan for shingles that have lifted, cracked or gone missing. Near the chimney is a common spot for wind damage. If there are areas you can’t see from the ground, be sure to ask someone to help you, and take all possible safety precautions, or better yet, hire a professional.
Make sure your steps are level and don’t pose a tripping hazard. Give special attention to the railings; checking that the handrails are securely in place and haven’t been compromised by weather damage like mould or rot.
Water damage accounts for one of the most common home insurance claims. Closely inspect your foundation for developing cracks. You’ll want to have these taken care of immediately before any water seepage can happen, especially if the cracks extend into the ground.
Have a look around your yard to make sure that stormy weather hasn’t created any hazards, such as tree branches touching your roof. If there’s noticeable wind damage to any trees, get in touch with a professional arborist to make sure its dealt with promptly and doesn’t pose a risk to your home or surrounding structures.
If you’re ever in any doubt, don’t hesitate to get the help of a licensed professional before attempting repairs on your own.
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