As we head into slightly cooler weather, this is a great time to do a home checkup. Did you know that your insurance policies do not cover wear and tear or maintenance? It is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure their home is being maintained to prevent unnecessary losses. When most people think of maintaining their home, they think of how it looks, but it is much more than that.
First, how is your roof? Do you have any missing shingles or damage from the most recent hurricane? Are your shingles lifting or curling? This may be a sign that your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Also, once you have your roof replaced, make sure you send us the Wind Mitigation Inspection, otherwise you may be missing out on some savings that could be applied to your insurance premium.
Also, how is the exterior of your home? If your home is wood frame with siding, what is the condition of the siding? Wood siding will dry rot over time and will need to be replaced, sealed and painted. If you have stucco exterior on your wood or concrete home it can crack over time which can lead to unwanted moisture in the walls causing mold and mildew. If you see some cracks in your stucco make sure to get them sealed and painted.
Everyone loves a nice yard and shade, especially in the hot state that we live in. Now is a great time to get out there and prune those plants and trees! The goal is to keep your trees and their limbs away from the roof, this will help with the life expectancy of your roof. Also, take a look at the condition of your trees. If your tree is showing signs of rotting or disease it could be a hazard to your home, fence or your neighbor’s homes. If your tree falls in the yard and doesn’t damage your home or other structures, the removal is typically not covered.
Last, but certainly not least, water claims are the most common type of loss when it comes to home insurance. Do you know what type of plumbing you have? If not, you can have an inspector come out and take a look for you. The most common types of plumbing are copper and PVC, with the occasional PEX and Polybutylene plumbing. If you have Polybutylene plumbing your home was most likely built in the 90s, and this type of plumbing has a high rate of loss making it ineligible for most carriers. If you have this type of plumbing, you may want to look into getting it replaced. If you have copper or PVC, over time even these types of plumbing can also corrode causing a pipe to burst or a pinhole leak leaving thousands of dollars of destruction in its path. There are leak detection companies you can call out if you suspect a leak. You can also check the fixture supply lines to the toilets and sinks to make sure they are not corroded or leaking. Replacing these periodically will help prevent a water claim on your policy. Along with plumbing and water losses comes the hot water heater and air conditioner. Most companies like the hot water heater to be 15 years or newer. Since we live in Florida they tend to rust and can bust at the bottom causing flooding in the home. The air conditioner line is also a common loss - if not cleaned out on a regular basis it can back up and leak into your home causing quite a bit of damage.
I hope this will help you in knowing what to look for when it comes to maintaining your home. If you have any questions, contact us, we are always here for you!