Spring has officially arrived causing many to think of their spring cleaning to-do lists. There are a few additional items you should add to your cleaning and general home upkeep lists this spring and all year round to help in the prevention of home insurance disasters. Many of the items are fairly simple to do, but can make a big difference in keeping your home and you and your family safe.
Most will check and clean the lint trap of their dryer with each load of laundry but what some may not realize is that although the trap does the best it can to prevent lint and debris from getting into your dryer hose, it doesn’t normally stop everything from getting through. A blocked dryer lint trap and/or hose pose serious fire risks so this cleaning tip can be a big help in preventing serious damage to your home, and potential physical injury to yourself and your family. To keep your dryer hose clear all year round, use a slim vacuum attachment to clean any areas you can reach. If you aren’t sure if you’ve got all lint and debris out of the hose, consider hiring a washing machine and dryer repair person, who you can also request to check that your machines are in proper working order in the same visit.
You’ve likely heard the reminders to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when the clocks are set back or forward in the fall or spring, but most are not checking their various detectors regularly to ensure they’re working correctly. A smoke or carbon monoxide detector can only alert you and your family of danger and give you time to escape if they’re in proper working order so it is recommended that you check and test your detectors on a monthly basis to catch any issues before the detectors are needed most.
Water Heaters and Air Conditioners
While you may have a greater tendency to check the items and machines which are in your sight on a regular basis, it is also extremely important not to forget about any items or machines which may be hidden away in a basement, crawl space, or utility room. One such item to keep a regular eye on is the water heater. You should make a habit of checking your water heater for any leaks or signs of corrosion and have the machine repaired or replaced as needed to prevent water damage to your home.
Another item to keep an eye on and perform regular maintenance or repairs to when needed is the air conditioner. Don’t just trust that when the hot weather rolls in that your machine will be good and ready to handle the work needed to cool your living space. Be sure to cover or store your air conditioner appropriately as suggested by the manufacturer to prevent debris and small animals from entering the machine and causing serious issues when the time comes to turn it on.
Aside from keeping the lawn cut and flowers watered, homeowners who have any amount of yard space should be aware of any other items or plants in their yard which could lead to a home insurance nightmare. Some items to keep in mind are keeping trees and shrubs away from any utility wires or access boxes on your property, keeping them trimmed as to not damaging or compromising your home’s roof or exterior, as well as being mindful of tree and shrub placement to prevent thieves from using their placement for covered access points into your home.
Driveway and Walkway Repairs
Preventing slip and fall accidents on your property goes beyond just clearing snow and ice in the winter months. Care should be taken at all times to repair any parts of your driveway or walkways which are broken, uneven, cracked, or damaged in any other way.
While the items listed in this blog are representative of some of the more common home insurance nightmares people have faced, there are others not listed. Please note that by completing any or all of these items or tasks does not guarantee the avoidance of an issue which may result in making a home insurance claim, they are meant as guidance to help prevent. If you have any questions about your home insurance policy with us or require home insurance, contact us today.