The Idaho Department of Insurance has released a list of tips to help homeowners avoid damage.
The winter is finally over and while there is still the occasional chance of frost, the time for spring home maintenance projects is definitely upon us. For anyone who was trying to put things off a little longer, take the hint from the insurance industry and use the next sunny day to get moving. The sooner you get the job done, the better prepared your property will be to avoid damage that will lead to a claim.
Many small preventative maintenance tasks can avoid expensive home repairs later in the year.
It’s important to note that these small projects will help a homeowner to avoid damage in ways that both are and are not covered by homeowners insurance. In both cases, these efforts can keep future hassle and expenses out of the way.
According to the Idaho Department of Insurance, inadequate spring home maintenance is a vital prevention step. The standard homeowners insurance policy doesn’t include all types of perils, despite the broad coverage it does provide. Therefore, it is in a property owner’s best interest to do what they can to stop the damage in the first place.
The following are some of the top spring home maintenance tips from the Northwest Insurance Council.
• Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Any built up leaves and debris could cause melting snow and spring shows to back up into your attic.
• Examine your roof. Pay close attention to the shingles and look for any that are missing, worn or curling. Replace damaged shingling.
• Checks soffits and siding. Do repairs to any areas that have come loose or that have been damaged.
• Ensure that downspouts are sloping away from the house. Water should be carried a minimum of five feet from the foundation walls to prevent it from backing up into the basement.
• Have the heating and air conditioning system checked once per year.
• Remove clutter and straighten up storage areas to decrease the risk of fire.
• Go over your porch, deck, patio and/or balcony to check for weak, loose or broken boards, posts and railings. There should be a gap of no more than four inches between railing rungs to prevent accidents involving children.
• Reseal and caulk the doors, windows, flashing and other sealed areas. Replace damaged weather stripping.
• Check the attic for discoloration of the surface and for signs of moisture.
• Place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and garage. Check to ensure their expiry date has not passed and have any expired fire extinguishers recharged or dispose of old ones and purchase new ones.
• Check exterior wall paint for damage. Re-paint and seal if necessary.
• Gently rake the lawn to remove all rocks and other debris that could be picked up and thrown by the lawnmower. This can prevent both injury and property damage.