Home Maintenance

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Common question regarding home maintenance: how does it affect my insurance?

  • Discounts are available for updates to your utilities such as your roof, plumbing, electrical, and heating
  • There are discounts for being claim-free by preventing losses
Regular home maintenance can help avoid a potential loss to your home that could increase your homeowners' insurance cost. Many companies will offer discounts for updates and a claim-free discount to your policy.

Spring

  • Check for damage to roof and hire a contractor to make any necessary repairs
  • Check all the fascia and trim for deterioration
  • Check your hot water heater
  • Replace all extension cords that have become brittle, worn, or damaged
  • Check your fire extinguishers and have them recharged or replaced if necessary
  • Repair all cracked, broken, or uneven driveways and walkways to provide a level walking surface
  • Check the shut-off valves at each plumbing fixture to make sure they function properly and there are no leaks

Summer

  • Check playground equipment
  • Check your wood deck or concrete patio for deterioration
  • Check exterior siding for damage that needs repainting, replacing, or repair
  • Check all windows and doors for water leaks
  • Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator with ice makers, and dish washers for cracks and bubbles and replace if needed
  • Make sure the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub floor

Fall

  • Check your home for water leaks
  • Have heating system professionally checked every year and have filters changed
  • Have your fuel company inspect your fuel tank periodically for deterioration, possible leaks, and that it is level to avoid tipping or spillage
  • Protect your home from frozen pipes by installing heat tapes and insulating the pipes
  • Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone before storing for the winter
  • Test your emergency generator and make any necessary repairs
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and your fireplace damper
  • Remove any bird nest from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures
  • Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and change batteries every 6 months
  • Make sure the caulking around doors and windows are adequate to reduce heating or cooling loss

Winter

  • Clean the gutter and downspouts
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the your home and dispose of ashes properly
  • Remove the screens from the windows and install storm windows
  • Familiarize responsible family members with the gas main valve and other appliance valves
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer
  • Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter
  • Remove snow from roof to avoid collapse and ice jams
  • Keep exterior heating vents clear of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections and remove any potential safety risks if you have small children or pets
  • Check your water heater for leaks and be sure it is in good working order
  • Test all AFCI and GFCI devices

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