Sometimes a disaster that strikes your home is a natural or man-made event that is out of your control. Other times, the damaging effects of the dynamic trio of wind, water and fire can be kept at bay by consistent attention to the maintenance and care of your home. Last week, we featured the first of a three part series with expert James Griffin from Active Restoration. Today, in our second installment, in conjunction with his advice, we have put together a list of what a homeowner can do to maintain their home and avoid unnecessary insurance claims and restoration projects.
Water, Dynamic Villain # 1
According to Mr. Griffin, the most common reason for the need of his restoration services is water damage. Fortunately, this is one area where consistent, on-going maintenance can be very advantageous.
• Hidden leaks can sneak up on you, so be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of water seepage. Investigate drips or water spots in a ceiling or in cabinetry.
• Bathtubs, showers, sinks and toilets are the most common sources of water damage or excess moisture problems that Mr. Griffin encounters. Replace caulking in these areas every couple of years.
• Inspect your water heater for signs of rust, overflow pans that are full or drain-lines that are clogged.
• Clean your gutters of debris to help prevent ice dams or overflow problems that can lead to water intrusion into your home.
• Have your roof inspected for soft spots, unusual molds, or broken shingles that compromise your roof and allow the elements to enter your home.
Wind, Dynamic Villain # 2
• Hire a knowledgeable arborist who can wisely inspect and trim any trees or large shrubbery that could damage your home during high winds.
• Protect your home from flying objects by safely storing patio furniture and children’s backyard toys before a storm hits.
Fire, Dynamic Villain #3
• According to the Fire Marshal’s Public Safety Council, 85% of non-functioning smoke detectors have missing or dead batteries. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms to ensure that they are working properly.
• Estimates from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) calculate that 15,500 fires, at a cost of $84.4 million, annually have clothes dryers as their point of origin. To keep from becoming a part of those statistics, inspect and clean your dryer vent and dryer hose on a regular basis and remove any obstructions.
• Have your fireplace inspected and approved for use each winter season by a fireplace specialist.
• Keep a working fire extinguisher on each level of your home.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound (or an insurance claim) of cure. Staying on top of maintenance issues will go a long way in keeping the dynamic trio of water, wind and fire from using their evil powers to cause damage to your home.