By: Liz Adams, Director of Personal Client Relationships
Fall has arrived! Bring on pumpkin-spiced everything, football games, colorful foliage, and most of all, cooler temperatures. But, don’t get so enthralled with autumn activities that you neglect to prepare your home for the winter temperatures looming ahead.
Tackling these home maintenance tasks reduces your risk of damage to your home. What are you waiting for? Why not get started this weekend?
Inspect and clean your gutters.
Check gutters for damage and confirm they’re securely attached to the house. Clean gutters and downspouts to prevent debris from accumulating. This task is especially important during the fall season as leaves begin to fall. Your home’s gutters keep water flowing away from your house and prevent water damage. Leaves and other debris can not only prevent water from flowing through properly, but can also weigh your gutters down and pull them away from the house, which can lead to damaged siding and trim. Afraid of heights – hire someone to help you out.
Survey the condition of your roof.
While you are checking those gutters out, take the time to inspect the roof of your home, as well. You may uncover signs of potential problems, such as missing or loose shingles. This gives you the opportunity to have any issues repaired before winter and prevent leaking or further damage. Don’t forget to contact your agent if you install a new roof, some insurance carriers give discounts!
Check for overhanging tree limbs
While trees are beautiful in autumn, overhanging limbs can also be the source of a lot of damage to your home. Consider having any branches trimmed if they are hanging over your roof, driveway or living area.
Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two important life-saving tools in your home. But to get the most of them, they must be working properly. This is where testing comes in. First of all, make sure you have a smoke detector in each bedroom or sleeping area as well as in the hallway outside of each sleeping area. You should also make sure you have at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home, including your basement. Test both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, and change the batteries as needed. The beginning of the heating season means more potential for fire hazards, so take time to review fire safety in your home.
Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to freezing temperatures.
Are there any pipes in and around your home that may be prone to freezing? Consider insulating any exposed pipes. A frozen pipe can create a great deal of water damage. Also, unhook any outdoor water hoses to prevent unnecessary water from even entering the pipes.
Have your heating system cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician.
Call a qualified technician to tune up your heating system. Dust off your heating ducts and vents and clear away anything that may have gotten into them over the summer. Be sure to check and change your furnace’s air filter every month during peak heating season. Check your windows and doors for any leaks that may compromise your heating efficiency, as well. If you feel cold air coming in, it’s time to seal your windows.
Clean your dryer vent.
Lint is an extremely flammable substance, and thousands of houses burn down each year because of it. Reduce your fire risk by cleaning out your dryer vent before you crank up your heating system. Plus, regular cleaning of your dryer vents leads to higher energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and less money spent just to dry your clothes.
Have your chimney cleaned and maintained by a professional.
Ready to cozy up to a fire? Have a professional sweep your chimney and complete a safety inspection before your first fire of the season. Skipping routine chimney maintenance can cause big (and costly) problems down the road. In fact, an estimated 25,000 home fires a year start in the chimney.
Staying on top of home maintenance will lower your risk of potential insurance claims and allow you to budget for repairs as they are needed, instead of scrambling in the case of an emergency. But, unexpected things still happen. Having the proper insurance coverage in place in case of an emergency is imperative.
Because Murphy Had a Law
At Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group, we’re all about mitigating the risks you face as a homeowner. But, we get it — sometimes things happen that you did not anticipate all because Murphy had a law. We’re here to be sure you’re protected when things go wrong. Contact us, and we can discuss protection against the unexpected.