Fall is one of the most desirable times of the year to perform maintenance and repairs on any home. When it comes to owning a property, several routine tasks must be done to keep everything in working order. All of these tasks must be done before the Winter, as there will be no time to fix anything when it gets too cold, especially if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. With this upcoming Fall season approaching us, it is always helpful to have some home maintenance tips up your sleeve before you get to work.
There are two types of maintenance that you can perform on your home, depending on its current condition. If you have any existing damage to the interior or exterior of your property, you will need to complete repairs in order to minimize it. If there are no issues with your home, it is still recommended that you initiate the below tasks to keep the future costs at bay that come with normal wear and tear.
Home Maintenance For Preventing Future Damage
The presence of damage to the inside or outside of your home is not the only factor that indicates when you should perform maintenance on your property. While the absence of wear and tear is always a good thing, it does not exclude homeowners from completing certain tasks that will keep their houses in tip-top shape. https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/09/26/your-fall-home-maintenance-checklist/
Many negatives come with failure to complete preventative home maintenance on a regular basis, including but not limited to these consequences:
- Any potential damages will gradually worsen until they are beyond repair/require expensive fixes
- Neglected appliances/pipes can cause fires, flooding, or other issues on the property
- Unwanted pests can gain access to the home and cause more problems
The first reason why you should never brush off preventative home maintenance is the fact that many issues with a property can be stopped before they progress any further.
Think of these kinds of tasks like cleaning any area of your house, such as the bathroom. If you wipe down the counters and mop the floors frequently, you will not have to worry about dirt and germs building up. On the other hand, if you neglect this area, you might come back in a few months to find more serious issues such as mold or mildew that will require an expensive removal.
As the homeowner in this situation, the giant bill that comes with such extensive repairs could have easily been prevented by simply keeping the bathroom clean regularly. The same concept applies to preventative home maintenance. If you are diligent in your efforts of keeping everything in great condition, you will be much less likely to encounter bigger problems that you are not prepared for.
In addition to the expensive repairs that can add up within a home that is not regularly maintained, some more dangerous consequences could possibly arise. If flammable areas such as vents and electrical appliances are left alone for too long without the necessary upkeep, they could potentially start a fire. Similarly, pipes that are not taken care of can burst and cause flooding, among many other issues.
Preventative maintenance of a home also helps in keeping unwanted pests and rodents away from the property. The exterior of your house should always be sealed for protection, leaving no room for intruders to sneak in through small spaces and wreak havoc on the peace you have created.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you should take preventative maintenance seriously as a homeowner. Even though it might seem like something that can be put on the back burner, you will be very happy that you put in the work when you don’t have expensive bills or a major disaster looking you in the face. To help you get started, here are 6 helpful tips for preventing future damage to your home through maintenance:
1. Maintain the trees and landscaping in your front and back yard
The first item that should be on your Fall home maintenance to-do list is maintaining the trees and landscaping in your front and back yard. This is a great place to start, as the plant growth that surrounds your property can potentially be the cause of more issues than you might think. This is especially true if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters and storms.
When the wind takes off in an area, loose branches and rocks are usually the first things to go with it. Hurling through the atmosphere at high speeds, they run into everything in their paths, including the windows and exterior walls of surrounding homes.
Before they get a chance to fly toward your property, you should trim down all loose branches and assess the health of the trees that you have around your home. If the trunk of any tree appears to be unstable, it should be secured to the ground or cut down completely.
2. Clean up the exterior of your home
The next thing to keep in mind while performing preventative maintenance is the entire exterior of your home, apart from the landscaping alone. This includes clearing any steps or walkways and making it as safe as possible for the upcoming winter season.
You can really prevent a lot of future damages to your property by paying close attention to the smaller details, including all gutters and downspouts. In the event that these areas are clogged up or blocked in any way, water can build up and cause gradual damage to your roof or the siding of your house.
3. Seal any cracks/openings to keep pests out in the winter
When the Winter season finally rolls around, the members of your household will not be the only ones looking forward to sleeping in a warm place at night. If they can find an opening, critters like bugs and mice will sneak inside behind you.
Before it gets too cold, it is a good idea to scan your property and cover up any cracks, holes, or openings that will expose your home to the elements. Another tip to keep in mind is that large openings can be covered more easily with a heavy-duty cloth.
4. Shut off any exterior water sources to prevent freezing
While going through your Fall home maintenance tasks, you can’t forget about the water sources that can freeze over when it gets too cold and you’re in a more northern state. Garden hoses should be drained completely and brought inside, with all water being shut off behind the faucets. And don’t forget to keep an eye on your indoor pipes as well. If you live in. a state where it gets below freezing during the end of fall and beginning of winter, you need to make sure that you won’t have anything to worry about!
5. Double-check all exterior and interior safety devices
When maintaining your home, you should never forget about the devices that keep you and your family safe, such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. On the subject of preventative measures, this task is certainly at the top of the list.
Perform tests on the functions, and change the batteries if they have run out. You should also make sure that you have access to a working fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.
6. Deep clean all vents, chimneys, and kitchen appliances
The exterior of a home is not the only area that needs an increased amount of attention when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Before you check all of the boxes on your prevention checklist, you should clean out all vents, chimneys, and kitchen appliances. This includes wiping the grease off of the vent hood over the stove and even emptying the lint in your dryer to prevent anything from sparking up in the future.
Home Maintenance For Minimizing Existing Damage
Owning a home is, for the most part, a very positive experience. Without the stresses and limitations that come along with renting a place, you can get comfortable and create a space that is truly your own.
However, the difficult side of owning a property is the additional effort that is required to keep everything up and running. If you experience some kind of damage on the inside or outside of your house, it will be your responsibility to get it fixed.
What can happen if you fail to complete repairs on existing damage to your home:
- Repairs for damages can become more expensive as the problem persists
- Severe damages can move past the point of repair completely
If you fail to complete repairs on existing damage to your home, you will most likely find that the original cost to fix the problem can become more and more expensive as it worsens. Depending on the severity of the issue, you could be dealing with something that adds onto the bill for every minute that it is not being attended to.
Either way, it will never benefit you as the homeowner to ignore damages that need to be repaired throughout your property. Extremely severe problems can even move past the point of repair completely, meaning that you won’t be able to fix it even if you would have liked to get around to it at a later time. Overall, any level of home damage should be treated very seriously and handled immediately with the utmost urgency.
After you have suffered through any kind of loss or accident, it is a good idea to keep these 5 tips in mind when trying to minimize the damages you have been left with:
7. File a claim with your home insurance company
The majority of homeowners pay a monthly premium for an insurance policy that protects their property and belongings. When a home becomes damaged in any way, the first instinct is almost always to call the insurance company and file a claim.
Depending on what your individual policy actually covers, the problem that you are experiencing could possibly be reimbursed fully through a settlement check from your insurer. The process of filing a claim is a long one, but it can prove to be worth it once you get everything you need to get your home back to normal.
8. Complete small repairs around your property
Insurance companies are supposed to be on the homeowners’ side, helping them rebuild their lives in the face of a disaster. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when it comes time to actually file a claim. If your insurance policy does not cover exactly what you need to get back on your feet, you can make small repairs around the inside and outside of your property. Some of these small tasks can include filling in holes on exterior walls or replacing the hinges on a door.
9. Repaint the exterior and interior walls of your home
Damage to the outside of a home can be the most difficult to deal with, being that it is fully visible to anyone who passes by. If you have any major damages to the exterior of your property, it always helps to cover it with a fresh layer of paint all around. Not only will this protect against further weather damage, but it will also minimize anything that might look unpleasant.
10. Add upgrades to improve your home’s aesthetic
If your home is suffering from any expensive damages that might be beyond repair even with the help of an insurance policy claim, you can never go wrong adding upgrades to pull the attention away from the negatives. Some great ideas include planting flowers or trees and replacing light fixtures.
11. Consult a public adjuster to help you with a home inspection
While some damages that occur throughout a property can be easily fixed, others will require filing a claim and going to battle with the insurance company. This is a process that is confusing to the average homeowner, and should not be conquered alone.
By consulting with a public adjuster, you can get help inspecting your property following the damages and advice about your policy. Along with performing the initial inspection, your adjuster will inform you about your rights as a homeowner and fight for you along the way, until you receive the full settlement that you deserve.
If you’ve got preexisting damage to your home or another kind of property and you’re not sure how to make the most of a damage claim, reach out to Bulldog Adjusters to find out how we can help you handle the hassle of your home insurance company. Here at Bulldog Adjusters, we work our hardest to make sure that you get the largest possible settlement from your insurance company!