Fall Homeowner Checklist

When it comes to being a homeowner, winter can mean many things: hours spent shoveling snow, possible damage to your home, and rising costs of utilities from heating your house. Fall is the perfect time to take some preventive measures that could save you time and money down the road.

Energy Efficiency

Energy costs can shoot up in the winter months, especially if your home doesn’t have air conditioning. You have spent the whole summer going without air conditioning and not paying a lot in your electricity costs because of it. Now with the winter bearing down on you, your costs are going to rise exponentially because you have to pay for the heat your home provides.

Take time this fall to check areas of your house that feel drafty. Insulating these areas can help keep the heat inside your home and help you save energy costs. Checking for drafts is also a good method to check for potential water damaged areas. If air can make it in, water probably can too!

Water Damage

Gradual water damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. Freezing water during the winter months can cause lots of damage. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself by doing some simple maintenance tasks.

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Cleaning out your water backup valves, gutters, and drains can be simple tasks that could save you lots of money. Clearing out debris left by fall leaves and making sure your sump pump is in working order can help you prepare for the cold months ahead.

Fall is also a perfect time to make sure your pipes will be okay in the winter. Hire a professional to check out your pipes to make sure everything looks good and that there are no signs of deterioration. Also, don’t forget to turn off your outdoor water supply if temperatures fall below freezing in your area.

Outdoor Measures

The outside of your home is where the most damage can take place and where you should spend most of your fall maintenance time. From the roof to trees, to checking for small holes in your exterior, take time to give your house the care it needs.

Check your roof for loose shingles or damaged areas. Roof repair can run you thousands of dollars and small measures now can give you time to save money if you know a new roof is in your near future. Your insurance may cover weather-related damage, but you still have to pay a deductible and lose any claim-free discount you may have had before.

If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure to get your chimney checked. Professional chimney sweeps can clean the flue and make sure everything is in good working order so you can enjoy your wood-burning stove all winter long.

You’re not the only one who wants to stay inside your warm house all season. Mice love to find little holes for them to squeeze through around the exterior of your house. Take a walk around your home and check for any possible entryways that critters could use to enter in. If mice or other rodents get into your walls, your housecat is not going help your mouse problem in the slightest.

Finally, check for tree branches that hang by your home to prevent any damage from broken branches. Consider having branches that hang over your roof cut back. If the branches belong to a neighbor’s tree, contact them about cutting the branches, as the responsibility for damage may fall to you regardless if the tree is on your property. Arborists can help you identify weak and diseased trees, and there are plenty of professionals who can help cut down trees that need to be removed.

Fall is the last time you will get to make sure your house is ready for the harsh winter, so take this time to put together your own maintenance checklist. Simple tasks like these can save you plenty of money in the long run. If you need to update your insurance policy or if you have any questions about what is and isn’t covered, contact Entrust Insurance at (586) 232-5511 today.