When you drive or walk through your neighborhood, it is easy to see which homes are being maintained and which are not. You don’t have to inspect them, but just pass by and take a look. It’s simple to find homes that are run down, their lawn is overgrown, window shutters are falling off or there’s missing shingles from the roof. Maintained homes aren’t perfect, but you can see fresh paint, no cracks or holes in the walkway or driveway, clean windows and no overgrown trees or hedges.
Yearly and seasonal maintenance of your home helps to retain its value and prevent problems in the future. Some repairs can help keep your Homeowners Insurance policy from increasing since they include reducing safety issues such as fires.
It’s helpful to keep a checklist of what you must do to maintain your home:
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors. A good way to remember to do this is when we change the clocks for daylight savings time.
- Clean the dryer vent.
- Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator.
- Clean and check the screens on your windows and doors.
- Check and maintain your air conditioning system yearly.
- Have your septic system cleaned out professionally. This should be done every year – every 3 years. Ask what schedule you should keep.
- Inspect your roof, chimney, gutters, etc. Again a professional can do this or you can do it yourself. Some homeowners do it every year then have a professional come in on the 3rd year for example.
- Check your foundation for cracks and soil for unusual holes. This can mean there is a sinkhole starting.
- Inspect your walkway and driveway and repair any cracks or holes.
- Check your doors and windows for to see if they close properly or if they need to be re-sealed.
- Have an inspection done for insects especially termites.
- Check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace them as needed. Keep the expiration dates on your calendar.
- Remove and clear any tree branches that hang over your home or your neighbor’s home.
- Remove anything that can be caught up by the wind during hurricane season and store it indoors.
- Inspect your attic for openings.
When using professional services, be sure to do a background check to see if the person or company is licensed and certified to do the work you have hired them to do. Another thing to look out for is workers’ compensation insurance. If a worker in your home is injured, they will most likely be covered under their policy. If they don’t have worker’s compensation, they can sue you. That means you’ll be using your Homeowners Insurance policy to cover their claim. There should be no reason for that, especially when you are trying to prevent problems with your home.