It’s Fall Cleanup Time

You can almost smell the pumpkin spiced lattes in the air. Autumn will be arriving soon, and all over the state homeowners will find themselves raking fallen leaves from the lawn, but is that enough to prepare and maintain your property for the season? Certainly not.

Leaves and debris don’t just fall on the lawn.

They collect on your roof and in your rain gutters too. This will impact the condition of your roof, and will weigh heavy on your gutters and downspouts, resulting in clogs that can cause rainwater to overflow and may cause gutters to break. Begin a weekly regime that includes a full inspection of your gutters, downspouts, and shingles. Keep them clean and clear, and inspect for damage.

Gutter damage to look for includes cracks, loose screws/brackets, and wear and tear at the fascia board.

Once clean, run a stream of water through the system to see if water is escaping anywhere aside from the base of the downspout. Once complete, step back and walk the perimeter of your property, noting any sections where your gutters may be sagging. Attend to any damage right away with the necessary repairs or replacement. The cost of doing so is nothing in comparison to what exterior and interior water damage can cost you.

The same applies to your shingles.

Loose shingles need to be repaired/replaced right away. Consider investing in a roof rake that will help keep the surface clear of debris, without having to risk injury while standing on a ladder.

Protecting your home begins on the property exterior.

For starters, mend broken fences to keep bigger pests at bay (raccoons, etc.) and inspect bushes for outdoor nests. When the cold strikes furry residents will leave their outdoor home and head for yours.

With the landscape in the clear you must now divert your attention to the base of your home.

Look for and attend to cracks around basement windows. Once complete, head indoors and have a good look from within. This includes inspection and repair on the interior of basement and main-floor windows, doors, and floorboards. Make sure wooden trim is properly nailed in or glued shut and that caulking is reapplied where needed.

It’s not too early to winterize your pipes.

Doing so is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to protect your home from a winter-like autumn season. Inspect pipes for leaks, cracks and fractures and have them repaired before cold late-autumn temperatures cause them to worsen. With that out of the way, visit your local home and garden store for fitted pipe insulation. If your budget doesn’t have room to outfit every pipe, prioritize the ones that are the most likely to freeze (the ones closest to the exterior). In addition, shut off the water for any faucet (i.e. basement or guest bathroom sink, etc.) that you do not commonly use, it will have a positive impact on your overall water damage prevention plan.

Because water can leak from pipes or appliances, it can cause major damage to your home’s walls, doors, cabinetry, and neighboring units if you are in a condo/apartment. That’s why it’s important to stop those leaks before they get out of hand. Prevention requires early detection. One of the best ways to help protect your home from water damage is by installing point-of-leak sensors so that they can alert you if there is an issue.

How does a water shut-off device work? Installed by a plumber directly onto your water line, a flow-based water leak detection device monitors the flow of water throughout your home. If an unusual activity or flow of water is detected – probably caused by a leak somewhere in your plumbing or pipes – the device will alert you first and then shut off your water supply to help minimize damage. Ask your Agent if there is a discount on your Home policy if you have this preventative device installed in your home or condo.

It’s a good time to ask key questions about your policy. Find out if you have standard, broad, or comprehensive coverage on your Homeowner’s Policy. Give your Agent a call, only then can you find the peace of mind that you are protected during this fall season.

The above description provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverages. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract. If there is any conflict between these definitions and the provisions of the applicable insurance policy, the terms of the policy control.

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