The best part of my day is when I pull into my driveway at the end of a long, stressful workday. The glow of the lights from the windows and the knowledge that my family awaits me makes me start to unwind, relax and realize that I have just entered the place I love most – my home.
For many homeowners, this is the feeling that homeownership brings; the sense that you have a piece of something to call your own.
For new homeowners that feeling is still fresh and very exciting. For those who have owned their homes for years, it is akin to putting on an old leather shoe that has been broken in and fits perfectly. However, like anything that is worth having, your home is not just about relaxing, it is also a responsibility that needs maintenance and nurturing.
As insurance specialists, we often hear about costly mistakes, in homes big and small, that could have been prevented. Some mistakes are easily rectified while others mean a family needs to rebuild and start anew. Here is a quick checklist of ways you can avoid mistakes that may jeopardize the safety of your home.
Avoid Security Mistakes
If your home is your most valuable possession, treat it as such. Here are a few things to take into consideration when avoiding security mistakes.
Invest in a Security System
Installing a security system, or using smart home tech to safeguard your home, is one of the first steps to take to keep your home safe. There are numerous options to choose from when selecting a home security system, such as Vivint Home Security or Nest Secure. Having an easily accessible keypad instead of a key lock is also a great idea. This prevents children from having to carry a key to and from school or from having to find a hidden key.
Be Savvy About Deterring Criminals
Use motion light sensors both on the outside and inside of your home. Have your mail stopped during vacations. Lock your doors. Don’t advertise where you are on social media. Display security alarm signage (if you have a system). Store ladders in a secure location instead of outside your home. Keep trees and bushes trimmed back from your windows.
Be Proactive with Home Maintenance
While it may be easier to ignore the dripping of a faucet or general maintenance until you have time, small issues like that can fester and become destructive issues over time. For example:
Address Dripping Or Leaking Faucets
Do this not only to lower your water bill, but also to avoid causing rotting wood around the sink/tub/toilet or other plumbing issues that may be a part of a bigger issue.
Clean Out Dryer Lint
Take the 30 seconds it takes to clean out the dryer lint every time you do a load of laundry. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are about 2,900 clothes dryer fires a year nationwide, and they cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Replacing Batteries In Alarms
Replace the smoke/CO batteries in your alarms twice a year. Additionally, make sure your alarm systems have the appropriate power and are functioning correctly.
Get Rid Of Those Pesky Pests
Do not ignore a pest problem such as signs of wildlife in your attic or what appears to be insect wings in your basement. Swarming termites could be shedding wings and eating the foundation of your home. Squirrels, raccoons, and rodents could be nesting in your attic or basement where they could gnaw on electrical wires.
Maintain Your Heating & Cooling Systems
Have an HVAC professional conduct regular cleanings and maintenance on your HVAC, furnace and heating/cooling systems.
Empty Out Your Gutters
Clean out your gutters from becoming clogged. The overflow could cause damage to the roof, siding or foundation.
We know you value your home, and that life can get busy. Take some time out of your weekends or schedule with professionals to take a closer look at some of these issues that could damage your most valued possession.