Spring is here!! It’s a perfect time to do some spring cleaning of your home inside and out. Spend some time on preventive measures to help maintain your home and property throughout the year. Cleaning out your gutters, checking for dead trees and branches and cleaning and inspecting home mechanical and plumbing systems, such as heating and air conditioning equipment, can help make spring a season of safety.
Inside Your Home:
Here are a few things inside your home that should be inspected to determine if they are in good condition:
Electrical Outlets and Cords: Check electrical outlets and cords throughout your home for any potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Extension cords and power strips are not designed to be permanent fixtures and should only be used on an interim basis.
Fire Extinguishers: Check your fire extinguisher at least once yearly, including the hose, nozzle and other parts to determine if they are in good condition and that the pressure gauge is in the “green” range. Check the expiration date. If necessary, move your fire extinguisher to an accessible place so that you can get to it easily in an emergency.
Air Conditioning: Check around the unit for indications of leaks. Before turning it on for the season, have your air-conditioning system inspected and tuned up by a professional. Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged. Change the air filter.
Water Heater: Check for leaks and corrosion. Check your owner’s manual for any recommended maintenance.
Furnace or Boiler: Have your furnace or boiler cleaned or inspected annually.
Under Sinks and Around Toilets: Look for any signs of leaks or corrosion on pipes, supply lines and fixtures.
Plumbing: Check exposed pipes and valves in your basement or crawl spaces, if safely accessible, for signs of leaking or corrosion.
Plumbing for outdoor Hose: After opening valves for outdoor water supplies, be sure to inspect components for leaks. Don’t forget to check inside plumbing as well as outdoor spigots.
Smoke Detectors: Daylight savings time is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Inspect each smoke detector to determine if all are in working order, and make sure to test them monthly. Ideally, there should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home, including outside of each bedroom, and one within each bedroom itself.
Outside Your Home
Here are a few things outside your home that should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition:
Roof: Check for any damage from snow or ice, and make any necessary repairs to reduce the possibility of leaks. If you have a skylight, check outside for a buildup of leaves and debris. Also, check the indoor ceiling for signs of leaks. Remember to put safety first any time you are on a roof. If you have any doubt, leave it to the professionals.
Gutters: Clean leaves and other debris from gutters and downspouts to keep water flowing and reduce the possibility of water damage.
Trees: Visually inspect trees for damage or rot, and remove (consider hiring a licensed professional) any dead trees that might blow over in heavy winds or during a storm. Keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed and away from utility wires.
Lawn Equipment: Make sure lawn mowers, tractors and other equipment are tuned up before using. Store oil and gas for lawn equipment and tools in a vented, locked area.
Walkways and Driveways: Repair any cracks and broken or uneven surfaces to provide a safer, level walking area.
Many of these simple tasks can add years to the life of your home and prevent major repair headaches. Invest a little time now, and you’ll save money on repair bills, and have more time to enjoy the summer!
Take a look at this Spring Home Maintenance Checklist and keep it handy.
More home insurance information can be found on our home insurance page.