Summer heat has hit America, and most homeowners right now are far more interested in remaining cool than they are interested in working on household maintenance chores. However, too many claims made on your home insurance leads to higher premium prices in the long term.
Before fall arrives, use these tips to write a chore list you can tackle to keep your home in tip-top shape and your insurance company happy.
Start At The Top With The Roof
The roof of a building has a tough job. Due to its height, it is difficult to immediately determine if your roof needs maintenance. But, without regular care, the roof cannot do its job to keep the interior contents of your home safe and dry. You cannot make a claim on your insurance because of general wear and tear on your roof, but you can make a property insurance claim if the damage occurs due to a weather event.
To make sure your roof keeps the insides of your home free from damage (and subsequent insurance claims), head outside to tackle these three tasks over summer:
1. Climb onto the roof to check for missing tiles or open holes. Call out the roofer if there are areas where water can get into your home through a compromised roof.
2. Consider roof replacement if it is over 20 years old. While some roofs maintain good coverage until they are 25 years old, regular inspection is needed after a roof reaches 20. A new roof may lower your insurance premium if it is stronger than the last one.
3. Clean out the gutters while up there. Dry leaves are a fire hazard. Remove all fire fuel around the home during the dry summer months.
Once the maintenance list is complete at the top of the house, it is time to move onto the middle.
Move Onto The Middle Of The House
What maintenance tasks are needed around the central part of the home to keep your insurance claims down? The top of the list has to be your windows. Just like the roof, these items are designed to keep the weather outside rather than inside. Unlike the roof, windows are easier to maintain while you keep your feet on the ground.
Just like the roof inspection, the main thing you look for during a window inspection is cracks that allow water to enter the home. Not only does the water cause parts of your home's interior to warp or rot, but it also leads to mold and mildew growth, which is not healthy for your home's occupants.
Take a close look at the exterior and interior frame of each window to identify cracks or holes. If you are unsure whether the cracks are just superficial paint problems, spray the crack with water from a hose or a spray bottle. Then, check the other side of the wall to see if water has entered the house. Cracked windows need to be repaired before rainfall increases in fall.
Finish With The Bottom Of The Home
The base of your house is the last part which requires maintenance. Just as you are unsteady when you don't care for your feet, the same rule applies when you overlook the health of your home's foundations.
As you walk around your home, look for evidence of compromised foundations. Evidence the home's foundation is damaged appears as cracks in the exterior wall.
Ground movement beneath the home causes cracks to appear. Tree roots trying to force their way under the house are another source of damage. Foundation cracks need swift, professional attention to minimize the permanent damage done to your home.
Don't spend all of this summer on your couch under the fan. Instead, get outside and deal with your home maintenance chore list. By doing so, you'll keep your home insurance premium at a pleasant amount in the year ahead.