For those who have never had the full-time responsibility of caring for a home before, it can seem like a lot to take on all at once. There’s a ton that can go wrong with a house –pipes can get plugged, electric systems can get overloaded and appliances can overheat. If you don’t have a lot of experience with maintaining all of the elements of a home, start with a comprehensive home insurancepolicy. Your first step towards responsible home ownership, a comprehensive home insurance policy protects you in the case that your home is damaged by a covered loss or if someone injures themselves on your property and attempts to seek damages.
There’s a lot of good advice out there when it comes to home ownership, but sometimes it’s beneficial to start with the basics. The leading cause of reported home insurance claims in Calgary and Alberta is water damage, and if you can avoid a wet disaster in your home, you are well on your way to a claims-free insurance record.
Below we provide a few essential tips for keeping your new home as dry as possible.
Keep your eavestroughs clean and clear of debris, and ensure your gutters are far enough away from your foundation. Gutters should angle down at least 15 cm from the bottom of the downspout to guarantee a free flow of water. Ideally, your property should grade down away from your house on all sides, or at least provide ways for large amounts of water to easily escape if it has to.
Closely inspect your foundation and have repairs made immediately if you notice a crack. If you have trees close to your home, it’s possible their roots are pressing into your foundation and/or waste water pipes. Certain types of trees have more vigorous underground growth than others, so check with a professional arborist to find out if removal is required.
For your roof, extremely faded, worn, curling or crumbling roof tiles are signs you may need to replace the tiles. It may take awhile for damage from a leaking roof to appear inside your house, and by then it’s usually extensive.
Finally, always put your garden hoses away properly for the winter. Drain and detach the hose and turn off your outside water if you are able.
If your appliances have plastic or rubber water supply lines, replace them with more durable and leak-proof flexible steel braided hoses. Always drain your pipes and turn off your system water supply if you are planning on leaving for more than four consecutive days. A great option to also be truly worry-free about your home is to connect your plumbing and heating systems to your burglar alarm system for 24-hour surveillance.
Check your attic for build-up of moisture, mold or ice, which all indicate improper ventilation (resulting in higher heating and cooling costs).
The drain in your basement floor should remain uncovered at all times. Never carpet or tile over a basement floor drain.
Generally, it is not wise to store your valuables in your basement, but if there are some things you must keep downstairs, try to store them in plastic bins or bags on high shelves. Consistently check for signs of leakage everywhere in your basement, and definitely contact professional help if you notice prolonged moisture anywhere.
Home insurance is an essential part of home ownership. As brokers, Bow Valley Insurance in Calgary is able to provide a number of options for your home insurance needs, and our insurance specialists will ensure you receive the most comprehensive coverage at the very best rates. Please contact us today!