Home maintenance matters
Article by: Kimberly Guest
Manage your home

Home maintenance matters

Our homes are the biggest investment most of us will ever make; however, many of us don’t pay as much attention to maintaining this asset as we do our motor vehicles. Nevertheless, regular maintenance is a critical part of protecting and increasing the value of your investment.

Keeping your home in good condition protects against having to deal with larger and more expensive damage down the line and lowers the chances of having an insurance claim rejected.

Scheduling a regular inspection of your home and property can help you to identify any potential problems. While every home has its own areas of potential concerns, be sure to pay attention to the following problematic areas:

Gutter maintenance is one of the most important tasks in keeping the structure of your home in good condition: protecting your roof, walls, foundations and surrounding ground space. Cleaning your gutters regularly also keeps the gutters themselves in good working order, reducing the need for repairs or replacement. Letting regular maintenance slide, however, can have dire consequences for the home including flooding, rising damp, damage to the roofing and compromising the stability of walls.

Out of sight is out of mind, as the saying goes, which perhaps explains why roofing is so often a source of costly repairs and a regular cause for rejected insurance claims. Your roof is constantly exposed to the elements and protects your home from severe weather conditions such as wind, rain and hail. However, these conditions can impact the stability of your roof, leading to loose tiles and roofing screws, as well as damaged waterproofing and leaks. If caught early, these problems can be fixed easily, quickly and cost-effectively. If left, however, they can result in severe damage to your roof trusses, ceilings, walls and even your floors and home contents. Importantly, if your insurer can see that your roof was in bad condition when a storm hit, your claim will be rejected.

We rely on our walls to keep standing but rarely pay much attention to their condition. Walls that are showing evidence of damp, bubbling paint, mould, crumbling plaster, cracks or loss of alignment are a big risk to the stability of your home and the safety of your family. It is essential that any problems are dealt with immediately as a small weakness can do serious damage to surrounding structures.

Regular attention should be given to the health of the trees surrounding a home as well as any structures on the property made up wholly or even partially of wood. Because wood is particularly sensitive to damage from insect infestation, humidity and direct sunlight, regular monitoring of the structural integrity of wooden aspects of a home can avoid potential harm.

Water pipes and fixtures do not last forever and can do considerable damage to surrounding areas when they start to leak or burst. Keeping an eye on the flow of water throughout the property will alert you to developing problems and help you divert, if not prevent, a catastrophe.

Many structural problems may not be obvious to the untrained eye so there is much value to be had in contracting a properly accredited assessor to conduct a regular home inspection. This will give you expert insight into the health of your property, identifying areas of immediate concern and advance warning of upgrade requirements in the near future. What’s more, the assessment will enable you and your insurance company to right-size your insurance policy, providing you with peace of mind.

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