Like most people, your home is probably your biggest investment. Maintaining your home will help you avoid costly repairs while keeping your investment – and the occupants – safe and secure. Routine inspections and proper maintenance will keep your home enjoyable for years to come.
As a homeowner, you are responsible for the care of your home. Homeowners insurance policies do not protect you from insect, bird, rodent, rust, rot or mold damage – nor will they protect you from general wear and tear. These are items you should be vigilant to maintain on a periodic basis. Here is a summary of things you should address to protect your biggest investment.
Inspect Your Home for Infestations
Insects, birds, rodents and other living organisms can cause great damage to your home in short order. At least once a month, walk the grounds of your home and look for trailing insects, insect mounds or damaged materials on the exterior of your home.
Insects can erode the foundation of your home and cost thousands of dollars to repair. Nesting bird, rodents or other living organisms can also damage your home and create unsafe conditions. These pests can bring disease or disturb wiring in walls or attics that can cause fire.
Here is what you can do to prevent damage:
1. Look for small holes in exterior walls, roofs, under hangs or entry points such as pipes or open vents leading to the interior of your home, attic or garage. Cover them, plug them or repair them.
2. Remove nesting any materials you may find.
3. Keep old building materials away from the foundation of your home.
4. Keep branches from nearby trees and bushes off exterior walls and trim them back four feet from your roofline, if possible.
5. Address infestations immediately to remove unwanted pests.
These easy maintenance steps will deter pests from entering your home. If you are unable to inspect your property, it is well worth it to find a local pest control company that will perform routine maintenance checks, perform preventative applications or eradication as necessary.
Don’t Ignore Rust, Rot or Mold Damage
Even when discovered, some people put off addressing rust, rot or mold damage because they don’t want to spend the money required to make necessary repairs. This can often backfire and cost you even more money in the long run.
Age and exposure to the elements can cause rust and rot. Keep metal and wood surfaces clean, painted and sealed to prevent damage.
A rusty pipe can leak or burst causing thousands of dollars in damage. Rotting materials such as roof tiles, exposed wood or trim can be signs of water damage or pest infestation. Materials exposed to moisture can also begin to mold which can spread quickly throughout your home. If left untreated, these problems can also result in expenses more costly than the original repair.
Just as inspecting for infestation, walk the grounds of your home to look for rust, rot or mold damage. If you are not able to perform the repairs yourself, call in a professional to address the problem before it becomes a major expense.
Protect Your Home from Storm Damage
Storms are inevitable – but, you can protect your home from needless storm damage by taking a few simple precautions.
Keep large trees pruned and healthy. Trim large limbs away from your building structures and don’t allow them to overhang rooflines.
If a storm is coming your way, remove or store large items from your property such as garbage cans, patio furniture or other items that could be carried in strong wind gusts.
If extreme weather is imminent, secure your possessions or move them out of harms way, if possible. Consult local organizations on how to properly cover doors and windows to protect from storm damage. Ask for assistance if you are unable to do it yourself.
Remember, as a homeowner, you are responsible for the care of your home. Keeping it in good order with routine inspections and proper maintenance will protect you and keep your investment in tact for years to come.