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How to get your home ready for spring

Most home insurance policies exclude damage caused by regular wear and tear and maintenance issues, so it’s important to keep your home in tip-top shape year-round.  Now that Spring has sprung, it is the perfect time to get your home ready for warmer weather, and stay on top of any issues that could lead to a home insurance claim.

Take these steps to get started:

Clean your gutters and downspouts: Your home’s gutter system directs rainwater away from your roofline and protects your home’s roof, walls, and foundation from damage. Every season, you should make sure to clear any debris from your gutters and downspouts and inspect them for any leaks caused by ice dams in the winter.

Test your alarms: While you should test your alarms monthly, let the season changing act as a reminder to test all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Replace batteries if needed and, if your detectors are older than five years or aren’t functioning as they’re supposed to, replace the detectors entirely.

Inspect your roof: Before winter snow turns into spring showers, inspect your roof for telltale signs of damage – like missing shingles or chimney cracks – which can lead to leaks if left alone. If you notice any signs of damage, call in a professional roofing contractor right away to complete any necessary repairs.

Fix any cracks in your foundation: Water can enter small cracks in your home’s foundation over the winter and will expand as it freezes, causing bigger cracks. If left alone, these cracks will continue to grow and can cause extensive and expensive damage to your home. Every spring, inspect your foundation and seal any cracks you find.

Check your vents: Spring is also a great time to inspect the vents on your home’s foundation and in your attic. Look for missing or damaged screens, debris, and any signs of pests. If you spot any issues, now’s your chance to correct them before they become bigger problems later in the season.

Change your home’s filters: It’s recommended to replace the air filter in your HVAC system and the filter in your kitchen range hood every season, not just in the spring, to help with the air quality in your home. When changing these filters, it’s also a good time to check in on your home’s water purification system if you have one. Depending on the water in your home, you may not need to change it yet, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

Reverse your ceiling fans: Ceiling fans allow you to keep your home cool without running your air conditioning system all the time. If you changed the direction and speed of your ceiling fans to prepare for incoming cool weather and to save on energy, now is the time to change them back.

Turn your outdoor water supply back on: If you turned off your shut-off valve and disconnected your hose to prevent freezing during the winter, you can reconnect your hose and turn your outdoor water supply back on once temperatures are consistently above freezing to prepare for gardening and lawncare.

Call in professionals for inspections: It’s a good idea to call in professional reinforcements for some of your home inspections. Consider having a certified professional inspect your air conditioning unit before turning it on for the season and having another professional clean and inspect your chimney, too.

Get a jumpstart on your lawncare: In early spring, take care of winter damage to your lawn by seeding any bare patches. You can also get ahead of the lawncare game by using this time to tune up your lawn mower after a long winter in storage, to prune dead branches from shrubs and trees, and to rake up any remaining dead leaves, twigs, and pinecones.

Take these steps to repair damage caused by harsh winter weather and reset your home for the new season. Contact one of DPM Insurance group’s brokers or CSRs if you have questions about how your home insurance policy may or may not respond to damage caused by problems outside of your control.

 

Source: Annette Hynes for Economical Insurance

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