Winter may be officially over, but the damage done to your home by all that ice, snow and wind may just now be evident.
That’s why the beginning of spring is the best time to go over your home and make sure everything is in good shape. Even if your mind is on flower beds and gardens, remember that a home inspection now could save you big bucks in repairs down the road.
So, when thinking of a spring-cleaning checklist, also consider a spring inspection checklist for your house. Many common problems may be a DIY job, while others are probably best left to a professional.
The Virginia-based Michael & Son, which provides plumbing, electrical and HVAC services around the D.C. area, shares a few tips from the American Society of Home Inspectors about what things need your attention in the spring.
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement, which isn't good for your foundation or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear of any debris.
Probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks using a screwdriver. Spring rains can be damaging to any exposed wood.
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during the winter. You can often do this from the ground. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked by a qualified roofer.
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
Remove firewood stored near the home. It's recommended that all firewood be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from a structure.
If you discover any major damage that occurred during winter, let your insurance agentknow as soon as possible.
“Consumers who need to file an insurance claim should contact their insurance professional as soon as possible,” says Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer of the Insurance Information Institute.
“Let your agent know the extent of the damage and start to document your loss with lists, receipts or photographs."
Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for damage caused by wind, snow, severe cold and freezing rain.
“If you have a home inventory, now would also be a good time to access it,” Salvatore says.
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This article was written by Jason Hargraves, Angie’s List.
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