Home Wellness Checkup - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 15, 2021

Home Wellness Checkup



Use Our Home Wellness Checkup To Keep Your Biggest Asset Safe and in Great Condition

For most homeowners, their home is their biggest asset. Surprisingly, home maintenance is not always a top priority. Maintenance issues such as crumbling roof shingles, blocked chimneys, or water damage can often result in expensive repair costs. Being proactive and completing a home wellness checkup once or twice per year is best when looking to preserve the value of your home, as well as keep you and your family safe.

An Inspection



Start with an in depth inspection of both the interior and exterior of your home. Look for signs of damage, wear and tear, or debris. Create a list of the things that need attention, then arrange the list from highest to lowest priority. If it makes you feel better to get the small stuff out of the way first, and you can complete those tasks in a timely manner, go for it! Otherwise, we recommend starting with the highest priority item. If you’re not sure what it is you should be looking for, we’ve broken it down into categories below.

Systems



There are several systems in your home that will need to be inspected during your checkup.

1. HVAC. For homes that have central heat or air, you will want to schedule your systems checkup and servicing with a local professional. They will review the ductwork, do a cleaning, and service your system.

2. Sump pump. You’ll want to make sure your sump pump is draining properly, especially during the wetter months. Finding out your motor is dead during a thunderstorm wouldn’t be ideal.

3. Plumbing. Looking at your pipes, you’ll want to make sure there are no signs of leakage. Review your interior walls, floors, and ceiling for signs of water damage. If your toilet flapper is worn out because faucets are dripping, you will want to address this as soon as possible to avoid wasting water.

4. Water Softener.  It’s important to make sure your water softener system is working properly and has enough salt.  Hard water will cause wear to your fixtures and the stains can be difficult to remove.

Fire Prevention



Fire prevention is going to be one of the most important parts of your home wellness checkup. Review the following aspects of your dwelling to prevent home fires.


Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested each month. Larger homes should contain several detectors and there should be at least one of each on every floor in your home. As an easy reminder, you might consider marking the two daylight saving dates as the days you replace your smoke detector’s batteries.

The Chimney. With or without regular use, the fireplace and chimney will need a regular checkup. The chimney acts as a passageway for dangerous gases, keeping the air inside breathable. It should be cleaned annually and inspected often.  

Dryer Lint Trap. According to the National Fire Protection Association, dryers and washing machines cause an average of 15,970 fires each year, with dryers causing 92% of them. This should be emptied after each use.

Electrical Cords. Inspect electrical cords throughout the home for signs of wear and tear. Replace and repair as needed.

The Exterior


 
When it comes to the exterior of your home, it can be easy to forget about the small stuff.  However, small, unaddressed repairs can quickly snowball into bigger issues. Monitor these areas of your home to prevent future damage or injury.

1. Roofs with damaged or missing shingles should be repaired or replaced to prevent water damage. Growing moss or overhanging trees should be removed to prevent damage. In the winter you’ll want to stay on top of heavy snow, ice dams and icicles.

2. Chipped paint can lead to damaged siding and dry rot. Scrape and repaint your siding as needed to protect the exterior of your home through every season.

3. Windows and screens that are cracked or torn should be repaired to avoid pests, drafts, and water damage.

4. Foundations that are starting to crack or sink should be addressed as soon as possible as they can lead to structural issues down the road.

A Deep Clean



Giving your home a deep clean on a semi-regular schedule is an important component of home maintenance. Make a list of things in your home that need a deep clean, then divide and clean them throughout the year. Here are a few things you might not think to add to your list, but will need a good scrub:

Ceiling fan panels
Air condition units
Garbage disposals, tub and sink drains
Dishwashers, washers, dryers
Heat registers and vents
Furnace and air filters
Faucets and showerheads (to remove mineral deposits)
Mattresses, curtains, rugs, and carpeting
Windowsills, baseboards, and the tops of your cabinets

Emergency Preparation



Being in the habit of preparing your home for an emergency can save time and energy in the event of a real emergency. You’ll want to make sure you have prepared the following:

1. An emergency stockpile of supplies should be stored in a cool, dry area.

2. A generator if you happen to have one. It’s best to keep the necessary fluid for said generator  on hand, as well as give it a test run once a month.

3. An emergency exit plan is important to have in place well before an emergency. Fire escape ladders should be set up for each floor of the building and everyone in the home should be aware not only of the exit strategy, but where you meet once you are out.

4. Fire extinguishers should be available on each floor of your home, especially in the kitchen.

Insurance



Another vital component of your home wellness checkup is the paperwork. You’ll want to make sure you have copies of any important documents regarding your home, for example your deed, filed away in a fireproof safe. You’ll also want to make sure your insurance paperwork is in order. If any updates or improvements have been made to your home, you’ll want to update your insurance company as soon as possible to ensure that you are properly protected.

Now that you’re prepared to complete your home wellness checkup - it might be time to consider reviewing your home insurance policy.  Check out the link below to contact an agent about NYCM Insurance and our policy discounts!




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