While buying a home is a great investment, maintaining it is not always rainbows and sunshine. Our homes need to be taken care of and many homeowners, whether it’s your first home or you’ve owned several don’t always realize your insurance policy doesn’t cover things that fall apart because of your neglect. But, the good news is we are here to help protect you and your home with five maintenance checks you should do this spring.
1. Check/Clean your Gutters
We get it. No one really likes scaling the side of their home to check their gutters, but it’s important to make sure they are clean and leave a pathway for water to drain away from your home properly. If you live in the Midwest, then you know about the snow and ice. These conditions may cause your gutters to pull away from your house which makes potential water damage. And it’s important to note that if water comes from outside of your home, your insurance most likely will not pay for the repairs.
2. Clean your Chimney (if you have one)
Oh, the feels, smells, sounds and ambiance of a burning fireplace. I can hear it right now. I can also hear the cha-ching when it comes to what might happen if I don’t clean out my chimney. [And no one wants to hear that.] Burning wood creates a substance called creosote, which is highly flammable and can build up in your chimney if not cleaned out regularly. Removing this substance is essential to ensuring your safety. If you do not clean the creosote out, you are at a much higher risk for a chimney fire.
3. Have your Air Conditioner Serviced
Most HVAC companies have a service option to come out and service your heating and cooling system once a year. Checking your systems and ducts is essential to ensure they are working properly, and overall maintenance is important for optimum performance. If you are trying to do this one yourself, we suggest looking for a professional to help you. [This is of course, if you are not an HVAC professional yourself.] If you have a home with radiator heat, spring is a good time to drain your boiler for the off season.
4. Inspect Outside
We’ve been inside for too long – it’s time to take a walk….around your property that is! Take some time on a nice day to walk around your property and look for anything that needs fixing: cracks in cement, missing shingles, loose steps, etc. Make or schedule the needed repairs to keep your home well sealed and safe. We all know home maintenance is easier than starting the job over from scratch. This will ensure you save some dollars too.
5. Check your Sump Pump (if you have one)
This one is tricky because when it works, it works. When it doesn’t, you know about it. It’s easy to forget to check on your sump pump when it’s working, but making this a part of your spring maintenance checklist ensures it will stay working for when you need it most. Nobody wants mold, mildew or rot in their house. So keep up the maintenance and note, your sump pump should last you 7-10 years. Keep a note of how old yours is and replace it as needed.
Home maintenance is an essential investment in the value of your property, whether you plan to sell in a few years or stay forever. and some of our maintenance needs are not always covered by insurance in case of an issue. For any questions or to have one of our IBC insurance professionals review your property insurance plan, call us at 712-277-2424 or contact us here. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.