You purchase homeowners insurance to protect yourself from the financial hardship that a total loss could bring. Yet most losses that occur are minor losses that could have easily been prevented through a program of regular preventive maintenance.
Below are some tips to help you get started on your own home preventive maintenance program that will reduce the chance of a minor loss occurring:
Everyday Loss Prevention
- Remove lint from clothes dryer after each use.
- Store hair dryer only after it has cooled down.
- Do not leave candles unattended. Make sure they're in a safe location while in use.
- Do not leave space heaters unattended. Ensure they're powered off after use.
- Do not leave an in-use fireplace unattended.
- Never leave coffeemakers, irons, toasters, or other small appliances that are in use unattended.
- Properly extinguish smoking materials. NEVER smoke in bed!
- Purchase surge protectors for expensive electronic equipment such as computers, home theater systems, or hi-fi equipment.
- Check air conditioning/heating system air filters and replace as necessary. - Monthly
- Inspect fire extinguishers to ensure they're fully charged. - Monthly
- Inspect main circuit breaker or electrical panel. - Quarterly
- Check for cracks or separations in caulking around bathtubs, toilets, and faucets. - Monthly
- Look at the hoses connecting toilets and sinks to ensure no cracks or leaks. - Monthly
- Clean or replace dirty range hood filter. - Quarterly
- Check refrigerator or icemaker water lines to insure no leaks. - Monthly
- Look for water leakage around water filter tanks and connections. - Monthly
- Inspect hot water heater's exterior seams, drip pan, and water connections to ensure no leaks. - Monthly
- Check dishwater and washing machine hose to ensure no cracks, splitting or leaks. - Monthly
- Check dryer vent for lint blockage. - Quarterly
- Inspect the roof and replace damged shingles.
- Ensure that the flashing around chimney systems is sealed.
- Have chimney professionally cleaned.
- Check siding for signs of deterioration caused by rot, mold, or insects.
- Check and clean all gutters and downspouts, if necessary.
- Recaulk windows and doors.
- Check and repair or replace weather stripping on exterior doors.
- Check exterior painted or stained surfaces and refinish as needed.
- Inspect grout around any tile floor and touch up.
- Trim all trees that could cause water damage to the siding or roof.
Source: Central Insurance