Preserve the value of your high value home and avoid costly insurance claims

Apr 22, 2018

Home spring cleaning and maintenance tips

There is no better way to preserve or increase the value of your home than with consistent seasonal maintenance and improvements. 

With spring upon us it is good to take a look at season appropriate home maintenance priorities. When you keep your home and property in tip-top shape you create a routine that helps add value to your home. When you protect your home against weather and threats you reduce long term costs and a huge replacement bill. When you check your property frequently it allows you to identify small issues for repair instead of encountering a big problem that has manifested for months or years (think mice infestation!).  The more frequently you check your home the less time it will take to keep it maintained. 

Top spring maintenance tips

Spring brings renewal and this is a good time to take stock on how you can keep your home in tip top shape in order to avoid costly insurance claims. 

Exterior home maintenance

The cold winter months can do damage to your house as well. Here are a few things outside your home that should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition:

Landscape maintenance:

  • Gutters: Clean leaves and other debris from gutters and downspouts to keep water flowing and reduce the possibility of water damage.
  • Trees: Visually inspect trees for damage or rot, and remove any dead trees that might blow over in heavy winds or during a storm. Keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed and away from utility wires. If larger trees are off your property call your local city engineering department to check for winter cracks etc. 
  • Lawn updates:  Make sure lawn and gardens are well tended and extra debris is removed. Dry old foliage can be a haven for rodents and a fire hazard. Sow additional grass and clover to keep lawns healthy and to prevent rodents from digging. 
  • Outdoor equipment and furniture:  make sure lawn mowers, tractors and other equipment is tuned up and that any outdoor furniture that is in need of repair is fixed or replaced.  

Structural maintenance:

  • Foundation: check for leaks and cracks. Some fine cracks are normal in foundation, but if they spread or look like they have water damage it is time to call in a professional. 
  • Roof: Check for any damage from snow or ice, including damage from ice dams, and make any necessary repairs to reduce the possibility of leaks.
  • Paint finishes:  ensure window casings are sealed and painted to help eliminate water seepage and humidity. 
  • Outdoor lights: make sure bulbs are replaced and all electrical fittings are still in good shape. 
  • Garage and garden gates:  ensure both manual and electric gates are checked for loose housings and that they work properly. 
  • Sewer maintenance: ensure your sewer lines are flowing and clear of debris. A plumber can do a review and many cities have sewer prevention programs, such as this one with the City of Vancouver

Interior home inspection

Top things to inspect inside your home:

  • General spring cleaning: look around the home for clutter that can be a hotbed for insect or rodent infestation. Take the steps to avoid what could be thousands of dollars of damage from rodents. Not all home insurance policies cover infestations, so mitigate the problem before it happens and find out if you are covered. 
  • Air Conditioning: Before turning it on for the season, have your air-conditioning system inspected and tuned up by a professional. This is best done when the A/C can be running for an extended period of time. 
  • Furnace: Clean or replace your furnace filter.
  • Clothes Dryer: Dryer lint can build up inside the vent pipe and collect around the duct. Clean both the clothes dryer exhaust duct and the space under the dryer. You may want to hire a professional to do this, specifically if you live in a Condo where it might be more difficult to reach the extended exhaust hoses. Also, washers have a water trap that should be drained of small bits and debris on a regular basis. Consult your owners manual to do this. 
  • Dishwashers: take time to remove and clean filters and run a vinegar rinse through the machine. This will help to keep clogs at bay and keep the interior of the dishwasher clean. 
  • Smoke Detectors: It is recommended to change the batteries in smoke detectors on a regular basis and to test them monthly.  Take an inventory on location and determine if you have enough smoke detectors for your home. 
  • Electrical Outlets and Cords: Check electrical outlets and cords throughout your home for any potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Outlets, fuse boxes and extension cords should be checked to make sure they are not overloaded.
  • Fire Extinguishers: Check your fire extinguisher at least once yearly, including the hose, nozzle and other parts, to make sure they are in good condition and that the pressure gauge is in the “green” range. Ensure your fire extinguisher is in an accessible place, and everyone in the home knows where to find it and how it works. 
  • Water Heater: Check for leaks and corrosion.

A strategic home maintenance plan in the spring can go a long way to keeping your home safe and secure.  Reliance Insurance Agencies is known for their expertise in risk management strategies.  If you own a high value home, call us today for a free risk assessment and strategy to maximize your insurance coverage for an affordable price. Call us at 604-255-4616 and ask for either Sandra or Doug. After hours, connect with us here and we will get back to you the next business day. 

Spring Maintanence Resources

Reliance Insurance Agencies is a partner with Travellers Insurance and they have created a very in-depth spring checklist to download:   Download Our Spring Home Maintenance Checklist 

Minimize your insurance claims:  Mitigating Water Damage 

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