The weather in Michigan is getting warmer and before you head off for Spring Break, it's a good idea to venture out into the sunshine to take a look at the condition of your home. Winter weather can do damage to your property and it's best to take care of that list right away before any problems get bigger. Here are some helpful hints, courtesy of HGTV.com.
1. Inspect your gutters for poor drainage or loose connections to the house. If you have a basement or crawlspace, be sure to check for any out of the ordinary moisture coming through the foundation. This may indicate a larger issue from melting snow and ice.
2. For any low areas in your yard that collect excess water, fill them with compacted soil. Not only does this prevent drainage issues with your foundation but it also helps to avoid future pest problems. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for insects.
3. Use a tool to check the trim around windows and doors for exposed wood. If you catch it early enough, you can avoid unsightly problems and costly replacements due to rot.
4. Do a visual examination of your roof from the ground. Note any areas where flashing or shingles have come loose or are missing. If the roof is starting to age, it's a good idea to start on a budget for the replacement.
5. If you have a chimney on your home it's necessary to examine the outside for damage. Have a chimney sweep come in to do a maintenance cleaning and inspection of the flue, especially if you've been using the fireplace during the winter.
6. Check concrete slabs for missing or cracked sections. Weather permitting, fill these areas with any crack filler or silicone products that are available at your local hardware store. Once this is complete it's best to use a sealant to inhibit any further damage.
7. Firewood supply - stacks should be raised at least 18 inches off the group and at least two feet from any structure. It's best to keep any stored wood away from your home to cut down on fire hazards.
8. Run outdoor faucets and hoses to inspect for freeze damage. According to HGTV, if you can stop any flow of water from the faucet with your thumb, the internal pipe is probably damaged and should be examined.
9. Bring an HVAC contractor out to check your air conditioning system for efficiency in the summer months. The outside unit may require cleaning or service. In addition to this, be sure to change the filters in your ducts to cut down on allergens in the circulating air.
10. Check all of your gas or battery powered lawn servicing equipment. Any weed-whackers, lawn mowers, edgers, etc. are no good if they don't start when you need them too! It may be a good time to clean the machines and sharpen blades to make yard work easier when the time comes.
As always - if you'd like more information to cut down on your potential claims or keep your home in good shape, give our office a call to speak to your friends in the insurance business!