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Lifestages // Ellen Wade on Tuesday March 17, 2015

Spring cleaning is a great way to freshen up the house and shake off those winter blues.

But, in addition to making the house feel refreshed by giving it a good once over, there are a few maintenance activities you can do around the house that will help you prevent some costly homeowners insurance claims.  So, this year, as you’re vacuuming and dusting, take a moment to tackle these 10 areas to ensure your home is thoroughly ready for the months ahead.

  1. Clean the dryer lint hose:  Check and clean the dryer hose once a year, as some lint can get past the lint trap.  Having a clogged hose not only costs you money by having to run a load of laundry through the dryer cycle more than once, it is also is one of the leading causes of house fires
  2. Change the batteries on all detectors, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Spring and fall are great times to change out batteries around the house to make sure all detectors are in proper working order.  In addition, you should conduct a monthly check to ensure the detectors are functioning properly.
  3. Examine the windows and doors: Inspect caulking and seams around the windows and doors to look for cracks where moisture can enter and cause damage.  Replace old and dried out caulking.  
  4. Clean or replace your HVAC filters: While this should be done more than once a year, spring is a good time to maintain your filters while you’re taking care of your other cleaning “to-dos.”  Having a clean filter can help you save you money and prolong the life of your blower motor.
  5. Check the water heater: Check for any leaks or corrosion, and have them repaired as needed.
  6. Complete an air conditioner check-up: Before flipping the switch from heat to AC, have a professional come in to ensure your system is in proper working order. 
  7. Clean up yard materials: Trim dead branches from trees, and tidy up shrubbery.  Keep branches away from utility wires and all shrubbery away from windows to help prevent theft.
  8. Clean gutters and downspouts: Gutters and downspouts direct water away from the roof and house, and prevent damage to both, so it’s important to keep them free of debris.
  9. Ready your mower for summer: Fill your mower with gas, change the oil and consider sharpening the blade.  When you’re finished, store additional gas and oil in a well-ventilated area, away from the house.
  10. Repair driveway and sidewalks: Check outdoor areas for any broken, uneven or cracked surfaces.  Fix as necessary to prevent accidents on your property.
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