Spring Maintenance Tips 2016

With the long days of sunshine and green grass just around the corner, many of you are likely starting to think about spring maintenance! As knowledgeable Insurance Brokers, we know that sometimes accidents happen and some claims (like hail) are unavoidable. However, the resulting damage of these accidents or claims can be significantly reduced by proper maintenance and precautions. As well, many claims, such as fire damage, can be completely avoided.

In order to assist you with your spring maintenance and help reduce the exposure and severity of a loss, we have provided you with a comprehensive list of recommended to-do’s for the upcoming season:

 

Interior spring maintenance tips:

  • Clean out your dryer vent, which could potentially save you money on your electricity bill and help prevent a potential fire loss
  • Check your washer fill hose for cracks or damage, which could help prevent a water damage loss
  • Clean and/or replace your HVAC filters
  • Drain your hot water heater (prevents sediment buildup) to prolong it’s life and help save you money on your electricity bill
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Vacuum your fridge coils (which are located either on the bottom or back of your fridge), as these coils conduct hot air from inside the unit and will cause the fridge to be less efficient if dirty
  • Clean and repair screens to windows and doors
  • Check your attic for roof leaks, inspect the underside of the roof and insulation for water damage
  • Check your basement walls, floor and trim for signs of water leaks or seepage

 

Exterior spring maintenance tips:

  • Check for loose or leaky gutters, and ensure that the debris is cleaned out
  • Ensure down spouts are pointed away from the foundation and clear of debris
  • Fill low areas in the yard and near the foundation with compacted soil to prevent water from pooling and seeping
  • Check all windows and door frames for cracks or damage and repair as necessary
  • Examine the shingles on the roof to see if there is any damage from over the winter. For older homes, budget for replacement of the roof once it is 12-15 years old (depending on the type of shingle)
  • Check the flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys
  • Have your chimney flue cleaned by a professional chimney sweep
  • Inspect your concrete sidewalks, driveways, etc. for cracks or movement and repair as necessary
  • Remove all firewood that is stored near the home. As a rule of thumb it should be stored a minimum of 18” off the ground and 2’ away from the dwelling.
  • Check exterior hose faucets for freeze damage and check garden hose for dry rot
  • Have the outside unit of your air conditioner cleaned and serviced
  • Repair cracked or peeling paint
  • Pressure wash to clean your deck, driveway, fence and other outside surfaces

 

Yard spring maintenance tips:

  • Check your gas and battery powered lawn equipment to ensure they are ready for use, and clean and sharpen blades as necessary
  • Rake leaves and left over winter debris from your grass and garden beds
  • Churn and loosen the solid and mix in compost to prepare for gardening

 

It is important to remember that some of these above items may need to be completed by a professional.  If you are not comfortable with certain maintenance items or unsure how to complete them, please be sure to contact a professional with the proper skills and expertise.

 

Happy spring cleaning from the Costen & Associates Team!