clock January 30, 2020 comments No Comments flowchart Family & Home CareHomeowners InsuranceOur Blog tag Property Maintenance

A man inspecting a water heater as part of his winter home maintenance checklistWinter weather can take its toll on your home. Use this handy checklist to keep your house in tip-top shape to prevent expensive repairs.

Inspect Basement

Do a thorough inspection of the basement for signs of moisture such as staining, mold, or mildew. This may indicate a cracked foundation, poor ventilation, or a high water table.

Deal with moisture issues straightaway or they can escalate into major issues. Chip out minor cracks with a cold chisel and fill with hydraulic cements. Larger cracks need professional waterproofing.

Check the liners in window wells to ensure they’re securely affixed to the foundation. Soil pressure can quickly create a gap between the liner and your home, allowing water penetration.

Clear the Way for Water

Winter means rain, snow, and ice. With so much more water during this season, it’s very important it has an easy path away from your home.

Check your home’s gutters and downspouts for dirt and debris. Replace any missing or broken brackets and add extensions to downspouts if water drains too closely to the foundation.

Order a Roof Inspection

This is something best left to the professionals. They have the equipment and experience needed to do the job safely and they understand roofing structure and the signs of damage (which isn’t always obvious).

They’ll repair small problems and recommend solutions for major issues to prevent costly property damage. Most clean the gutters and remove debris from the rooftop as well.

Insulate, Air Seal & Ventilate the Attic

Ice dams can cause extensive damage. They’re caused by warm air collecting in the attic which melts snow on the roof. The water flows under the shingles and into your home.

Seal any gaps between the conditioned, heated space in your home and the attic. Add insulation and ensure there’s sufficient ventilation. Experts recommend 1 square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of attic space.

Test Sump Pump

If you already have a sump pump due to water issues in your home, clean the exit pipe of dirt and debris and test it to ensure it’s working well. Also check that the water’s directed well away from your home and the pump turns off after the water pumps out.

Consider installing a battery-operated backup system that kicks in if the power goes out and a water detector that senses moisture too.

Inspect Heating Systems

No one wants to find themselves without heat during the winter. An annual furnace inspection is a great way to prolong furnace life by keeping it at peak efficiency, which saves you money.

A professional inspector will clean the system, change the filter, test thermostat settings, inspect electrical connections and test the voltage to detect any potential component issues. They also lubricate moving parts, inspect the condensate drain, and test system startup and shutdown.

Clean Dryer Vent

How many loads of laundry do you dry in your household in a year? Probably hundreds and every load leaves residue in the dryer hose. Remove the hose annually and clean it with a brush. This reduces fire risk and improves efficiency.

Consider installing a dryer vent cap on the exterior of your home as well. It keeps cold air from entering your home.

Seal Windows & Doors

Caulking and weather stripping can deteriorate allowing cold air and moisture into your home. Do a walkthrough and replace or repair damaged or missing air sealants as needed.

Insulate Pipes

Buy foam pipe insulators and protect any pipes in unheated areas such as the garage, unconditioned basement or crawlspace, and even cupboards abutting exterior walls. Ruptured pipes can cause extensive water damage and mold and mildew issues later.

Review Homeowners Insurance

If you automatically renew your Rhode Island homeowners insurance without an annual review you’re leaving yourself at risk. Your home has probably increased in value and you probably own more things.

Give our insurance agency a call. We can align your policy with your needs and eliminate insurance gaps. It takes little time, but could save you plenty of grief.


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