There are good reasons for keeping your home well maintained. Regular maintenance not only ensures that your biggest asset continues to hold its value it also keeps your home safe and secure. Usually as part of your building insurance cover, Insurance companies require your home to be well maintained. It is best to read the Product Disclosure Statement to clarify the specific requirements of your insurer. This applies to all insurance contracts, whether it is home insurance, contents insurance, or any other policies that are designed to protect your valuables.
By taking care of the little things now, you can stop them from becoming expensive and possibly dangerous problems later on. It’s a good idea to do a walkthrough at least twice a year to see what needs fixing.
- Start with the yard. Are fences and gates free from rust? A faulty gate latch could fail to prevent a small child from entering a swimming pool area or wandering out into the road. A rusty fence paling could become a serious hazard if it broke loose.
- When was the last time you trimmed those bushes back from the house? Overhanging trees and shrubs hide it from the street and provide cover for burglars.
- Are all the exterior motion-sensor lights working? Blown bulbs and faulty switches should be replaced.
- Is the driveway in need of repair? Cracks and holes can become tripping hazards or damage car tyres.
- What about paths? A protruding tree root could trip a visitor and invite a lawsuit.
- What about the roof? When was the last time you checked it? A falling tile could be a deadly missile. A chimney that hasn’t been cleaned is a fire hazard. Rusty or damaged gutters can have razor sharp edges.
- Windows and doors are the main point of entry for burglars. Are there any cracked panes or missing louvers that need replacing? Do all the locks work?
- Damp patches in ceilings can lead to rot which is expensive and dangerous if it spreads to supporting walls.
- What about the smoke detectors? Do you test them periodically? Would you know if the batteries were flat? Same goes for the alarm system. You’ve never had to use it, touch wood, but how do you know if it’s still working? You could warn the neighbours and trigger it just to make sure.
- What about electrical outlets? Loose ones can be dangerous. Make a note of all the faulty switches and loose connections around the house and then have an electrician come in and repair them. Unless it’s something minor like replacing a few screws, it’s better to have a professional do it.
Once you start looking, you will probably find a whole host of things that need fixing, so the best thing to do is write them all down and then prioritise them in order of urgency. Safety matters should be seen to first, along with things that require professional attention such as plumbing and electrical problems. The other items can be attended to as time and money allow.
The old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is particularly true when it comes to home maintenance. Being proactive and staying on top of it is the best way to keep your investment safe and your family secure.