FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. Spring cleaning is not just something promoted by popular culture. Taking the time to do some crucial cleaning as the weather gets warmer can also protect you from having to make an insurance claim. In some cases, if you don’t do your due diligence when it comes to spring cleaning, your insurance company can even try to deny your claim. Likewise, routine maintenance and inspection may prevent a loss or help ensure coverage with your insurance. What are some areas you shouldn’t miss?
- Clean your gutters. According to Angie’s List, failing to clean your gutters can result in serious damage to your home. Gutters keep the water away from your home’s foundation. If the gutters are clogged, water can pool in your house’s foundation. Furthermore, clogged gutters can lead to water damage in your home. If your insurance company discovers that the water damage your home sustained was due to a clogged gutter, you could face a denied insurance claim. When you clean your gutters, keep records—whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
- Clean your windows this way you can see if any seals need replacing or if any windows have blown if you have double glazing, this can be an easy task if you like in a 1 storey property however it’s not always an easy task to do yourself when your property has 2 storeys or more, in such cases it would be advisable and safest to hire a company like Hi Tech Enterprises, they are specialist window cleaners who also use pressure washers which is all the better for those hard to reach windows that may not have been cleaned for some time. If your windows aren’t too dirty you don’t need to spend a fortune on name brand cleaner you can simply use an old newspaper, screw it up and then rub the window it really does work although I’d advise wearing a pair of rubber gloves as the ink tends to make it a dirty job.
- Repair sidewalks and walkways. Winter weather, storms, and rain can lead to damaged walkways or sidewalks. Spring is a great time to make crucial repairs. If you knew about the damage and failed to make repairs, a neighbor or a visitor can suffer a slip and fall and you can face a lawsuit. If your homeowner’s insurance covers these injuries, adjusters may try to deny your claim if they believe you knew about the uneven surfaces or damaged sidewalks.
- Clean vents and tubes in your dryer. Over time these vents can become clogged and can pose a fire hazard. If your homeowner’s insurance believes that your failure to maintain your appliances or if they believe that a defect in your appliances resulted in a fire, they may try to pass the buck to the appliance manufacturer or even pass the blame onto you.
- Inspect the outside walls of your home for any cracks not matter how big or small. One advantage of not waiting too long to repaint the exterior of your home is paint will often fill and sometimes help seal cracks to prevent water intrusion. Water intrusion of this kind may not be covered under your policy of insurance.
- Inspect all windows, doors and openings and bathrooms. Many times we wait way too long to check the caulk in and around toilets, baths, showers, etc. Any water damage from failure to maintain your home may not be covered. Likewise, many people never re-caulk the exterior portion of windows and doors allowing for water penetration that may not be covered. Likewise, it you have any screws or nails attaching anything outside the home, including the holes and/or screws for hurricane shutters, make sure to check those every year and have them caulked periodically to prevent water intrusion that can cause significant damage but may not be covered under your policy of insurance. If you rent, you should still inspect and as your landlord to make necessary repairs. Moreover, we strongly encourage all renters to have renter’s insurance, which is normally very affordable and may give you valuable coverage for your contents.
- Have your insulation and air conditioning ducts inspected periodically. As the insulation and/or ducts age, their effectiveness may decline. This can lead to condensation that can do damage to your attic, ceilings, walls and more which also may not be coverd under your insurance.
- Inspect your air conditioning units and/or have maintenance done to them once or twice a year. Often, the line that allows water to drain from your air conditioning unit can be clogged causing a back-up of water in the home. When attributable to an AC clog, your insurance company may refuse payment based on failure to do routine maintenance. Many air conditioning companies offer very reasonable plans to inspect and service your unit(s) once or twice a year and provides a discount should you need other services during the year. We strongly encourage taking advantage of such an arrangement.
- Have your roof inspected periodically to make sure there are not developing issues that may allow water intrusion, especially on flat roofs. Often easy and relatively inexpensive repairs can be timely done to prevent problems but if you do not proactively look for them, you will not know about an issue until it is too late. If a water loss is due to a roof not being maintained or outliving is expected life with no maintenance or repair, you may not be afforded coverage.
- Make sure to save invoices, receipts and/or proof of the maintenance being done.
The New York Times offers some handy tips to make spring cleaning easier this year. For example, the Times recommends that you make friends with your vacuum cleaner. Your vacuum is great not only for cleaning your floors, but it can also get into hard to clean areas around appliances. Small vacuums are also very handy for those lacking in storage space, we found this website that had plenty of reliable reviews – http://appliancehunter.co.uk/handheld-vacuum-cleaner/
It can also help you clear out vents. You also don’t always need to climb a ladder to clean your walls. Attach a rag to your broom and you can instantly reach up higher!
Even people who have made every effort to maintain their homes can face home damage. Storms happen. Fires occur. When these tragedies strike, you rely on your homeowner’s insurance to cover you. If you are facing problems with a homeowner’s insurance claim, you may have rights under the law. Leader & Leader, P.A. are water damage lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who can help you make a claim. Visit us at https://leader-law.com/water-damage/ to learn more about your options and rights under the law. Insurance companies have a responsibility to deal with you fairly and in good faith.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301