A Home Insurance Checklist for the New Year

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on January 4, 2016

The celebration of the new year has come and gone. Right after the holidays, many Southern Maryland homeowners tend to accidentally neglect some aspects of home maintenance.

Many on the East Coast – Southern Maryland included! – enjoyed rather warm and pleasant weather this past December, but it’s likely January and February will be a little different. This means your Southern Maryland home is vulnerable to cold weather damage if it is not taken care of properly. Use this home maintenance checklist to assure that your home is ready for the big chill ahead.

Test the Alarms

This should be done several times a year, but it never hurts to get a reminder. As often as possible, test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and check to make sure your security system is up and running. Keep the batteries in your alarm relatively fresh.

If you have kids in the house, it’s always a good time to talk about your emergency evacuation plan. Make sure they know exactly what to do in case of fire, earthquake, or other unforeseen emergency.

Inspect the Foundation

During the cold winter months, ice can make its way into cracks in your foundation. This can cause to significant structural problems for your home. Take a walk around the house frequently to check for cracks. Small cracks are inevitable, but they should not be taken lightly. Seal them right away.

Check the Gutters and Roof

The leaves are still falling from the trees in some places, but even if they’ve stopped where you are, make sure your gutters are not neglected. Don’t let the leaves pile up, and try to clear your gutters as soon as possible.

Accumulating leaves can lead to drainage problems, which means that every time it rains, it will be difficult for water to flow down the spout and away from your home. Drainage problems could force water into the walls and ceilings of your house.

While you’re checking the gutters, take a look at your roof as well. The shingles should be in good condition and there shouldn’t be any leaks. The roof should be strong and functional so that it can withstand the weight of snow during a storm.

Seal Windows and Doors

Is your electric bill especially high this time of year? Maybe it’s because of the air escaping through the gaps around door frames and windows. When you seal the cracks in your foundation, seal the spaces around your doors and windows, too. This will keep the house warm when it is cool outside and can save you money.

The Heating and Cooling Systems Should Be Maintained

While we’re talking about heating and cooling bills, know that it is also a good idea to inspect and maintain your heating and cooling systems as well.

Make it a habit to check that your heating and cooling systems are working the way they should. It’s better to tackle the repairs while they’re still small instead of waiting until they get worse. This work should be done by a professional who will make sure that the vents are clean, that spaces aren’t obstructed by dirt or any other type of buildup.

Have a Home Inventory and Review Your Policy

Every new year brings new resolutions and hopes that we can be better people for the coming year. Some of us want to be more responsible. How do you go about accomplishing that goal?

Create a home inventory to prepare you for the unknown. If a disaster occurs, there’s always the chance that you’ll be too distressed to remember how much each item costs. A complete list of everything you own and each item’s value will come in handy should something unforeseen happen.

Do yourself a favor and compile this list! Store it in a safe place. You’ll be glad you took the time to do it.

You should also understand your insurance policy and know how it covers you. Insurance can be tricky, so the best move is to hire an agent who can guide you through the important components of your policy.

Mechanicsville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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