Spring Cleaning & Summer Maintenance Tips to Reduce the Risk of Home Insurance Claims
You buy homeowners insurance to cover unexpected events. However, that doesn’t mean you should try to make a homeowners insurance claim. By taking simple steps today, you can reduce the risk of homeowners insurance claims.
Here are some of our best spring cleaning and summer maintenance tips to reduce the risk of home insurance claims – and why it’s important to maintain your home in the first place.
Insurance Requires You to Maintain Your Home
Home maintenance isn’t just prudent: it’s required. If you fail to maintain your home, then your insurance company could use that to deny your claim.
Many homeowners have lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of compensation because they failed to check their roof for damage, clean their property, or remove dead trees, for example.
By practicing the spring cleaning and summer maintenance tips below, you can reduce the risk of complications with future insurance claims.
Clean Dryer Lint Hose
Clogged dryer lint hoses are among the most common causes of fires in the United States. That’s why it’s important to clean your dryer lint hose regularly.
If you find your dryer isn’t drying clothes as effectively, or if you’ve never cleaned your dryer lint hose, then clean it out today. Do this regularly to reduce the risk of a house fire, reduce wasted energy usage, and dry your clothes more efficiently.
Trim Trees & Cut Down Dead Trees
Winter snow storms can damage trees. Windstorms can kill trees, creating a hazard near your home. Check the trees around your home for signs of damage. If trees are leaning or damaged, then they could fall onto your home during the next windstorm.
You may not need to take down an entire tree. Instead, look for large branches that may have partially fallen from trees.
Signs you may need to take down a tree include:
- The tree doesn’t have any leaves or new growth
- The tree is leaning towards your home or a neighbor’s home
- The tree is dangerously close to a power line
- The tree has visible signs of disease or damage
If you’re concerned about a tree near your home, then contact a local tree cutting service.
Prepare for Spring Break Trips & Summer Vacation with Basic Precautions
More burglaries occur in the spring and summer than any other time of year. As people leave for spring break and summer vacation, their empty homes pose a target for thieves.
Homeowners insurance covers unexpected events – like burglaries and break-ins.
However, you may not receive full value for your items. If you have an actual cash value homeowners insurance policy, for example, then your insurer deducts depreciation from any stolen possessions. A thief might have stolen your $2,000 computer, but you only receive $300 from your insurance company because of depreciation.
Take basic steps to protect your home from thieves and burglars this spring and summer, including:
- Install a home security system
- Avoid posting travel plans or vacation photos on social media until after you get home
- Have a neighbor check your mail and enter your house regularly
- Install a timer on indoor and outdoor lights to make your home look inhabited
- Have a friend park a car in the driveway periodically
Check Smoke Detector Batteries
The risk of house fires increases during the summer. Backyard barbecues cause over 9,000 house fires each year. Test your smoke detectors regularly to protect your home.
It takes just a few seconds to check your smoke detector batteries and verify they work. Those few seconds could save your family’s lives.
Order a Professional HVAC Inspection
Spring is a great time to order a professional HVAC inspection.
If you live in a northern climate, then your HVAC system may have had a workout all winter long. If you live in a warmer climate, then your HVAC system may need to be prepared for a busy summer.
By ordering a professional inspection for your HVAC system, you can fix minor issues before the summer surge. Remember: the hotter it gets, the harder it is to find an emergency air conditioning repair team – and the more expensive AC repairs can be.
There’s no better time than spring to clean your gutters. During fall and winter, leaves clog your gutters, which could cause issues with spring rainstorms.
Gutters can’t do their job when they’re backed up. A clogged gutter causes serious water damage. It can weaken your siding, cause visible damage to your home, and affect your foundation. When water doesn’t flow where it’s supposed to, it poses a problem.
Clean your gutters to limit the risk of a future homeowners insurance claim – and limit damage that does occur from a future claim.
Check Caulking Around Doors, Windows and Roofing Vents
Cold winter temperatures can impact caulking. You need to inspect the caulk around your doors and windows to prevent leaks. Your insurance company could deny a water damage insurance claim because of weakened or cracked caulking.
Check caulking in the following areas before spring and summer thunderstorm season:
- Roofing vents
Inspect Your Roof & Exterior
Once spring has sprung, it’s a great time to perform a thorough inspection of your home and your exterior.
Check your roof for any ice damage, snow damage, or missing shingles. Inspect your foundation for signs of overgrowth or debris. Fix areas around your house where water could pool – like sunken areas against the side of your home.
While you’re inspecting the exterior of your home, check your deck for rotting wood and materials. Look for boards that have fallen apart or any nails and screws poking out.
Check the driveway and sidewalks for uneven areas. Sometimes it can indicate a leaking pipe under the ground. Uneven areas could damage your vehicle. They could also cause injury to guests on your property, leading to a liability claim.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
You might spend $200 at Home Depot maintaining your home this spring.
However, that $200 you spend today could help you avoid a $2,000 deductible in the future – and the insurance headaches, higher premiums, and stress that come with a major insurance claim.
Spend some time doing basic home maintenance this spring and summer to avoid future insurance claim headaches and protect your property.