Now that it’s officially spring, it’s time to prepare your property for warmer weather. Aside from your annual spring cleaning, it’s also a good idea to complete a little seasonal home maintenance.
The winter months can really take a toll on your home and leave it vulnerable when those April showers hit. From your roof to your smoke detectors, a few simple checks can help you avoid potential home insurance claims or at least mitigate them. In addition, they can help your home run more efficiently when the temperatures rise.
Here are a few things to check up on:
From the inside
- Clean or replace your furnace filter. Why? Because a dirty filter can cause your home’s HVAC system to run inefficiently and in turn cause you to have a higher energy bill. No thanks.
- Test your A/C unit. You don’t want to wait until the temperatures get too warm to make sure your A/C unit is working properly. Checking it early can help you spot problems and have it repaired in time for hotter temps.
- Is your home ready for all those spring showers? Check weather stripping around doors and windows and make sure they are in good condition. Replace any weather stripping that is damaged and apply caulk to cracks or areas that may allow water to seep in.
- Test all of your smoke alarms. It’s easy to forget to check up on your home’s smoke alarms but they are integral to the safety of your home. Make sure they are all working properly and replace the batteries in each detector.
- Don’t get bugged. Whether its bugs or rodents, spring is the time many pests become more active. If you’ve got a problem or have had pest problems in the past, now is a good time to call pest control for a little proactive pest control action. The last thing you want this spring are termites eating through your house frame or mice taking up residence in your pantry.
On the outside
- Ensure top performance. From the ground, check your roof for missing or damaged shingles. Between snow, ice and wind, winter can do a number on your home’s roof. If you notice any trouble spots, call a professional to have it fixed. You’ll want to have this done before the April showers hit.
- Opt for a quick trim. Cut back tree limbs and shrubs, especially those growing a little too close to your house. Cutting these back in the spring time can help prevent future damage to your roof and other parts of your home.
- No time to split. Check for cracks in the driveway and sidewalk, which may have been caused by harsh winter conditions. If you find any, use a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk to seal them because they can become a tripping hazard.
- Clean out your gutters. It might not be your favorite task but it’s a good way to prevent water damage to your home. If you aren’t hiring a professional, take extra safety precautions when cleaning them out yourself. If you notice any loose downspouts or sagging gutters, be sure to reattach them.
While you are getting your home ready for spring, it’s also a great time to do an annual review of your home insurance policy. April showers and summer storms are just around the corner – do you have enough coverage? If you don’t already have it, should you consider getting flood insurance? Remember, standard home insurance policies don’t cover flooding. A licensed agent can help answer any questions you may have about your coverage.
Another thing to consider when reviewing your policy is what you are paying. If your premium is being drafted out of your checking account each month, it’s easy to forget about it. However, consumer experts say that homeowners should shop annually for a policy to get the best price. Get a few quotes and see if you can save some money.