Spring is the best time of year to perform a thorough check of your home’s maintenance needs, allowing you to address any problems that may have cropped up during the winter. The cold-weather months – however brief this year in Calgary – can still put a great deal of strain on your home. It’s important to address problems promptly before they become major issues that will require costly repairs.
Once you’ve completed your spring home maintenance, it’s a good idea to review your insurance coverage to ensure you have the right protections in place. This is especially important if your maintenance check uncovered new issues, or problems that were previously very minor but have since increased in severity.
Your Spring Maintenance Checklist
A good way to break down the task is to separate your maintenance check into three parts, including your home’s exterior, its interior, and the surrounding property.
When reviewing your home’s exterior, be sure to check the roof for signs of missing or damaged shingles. It usually isn’t necessary to actually climb onto the roof; just use a pair of binoculars so you can get a detailed view. Exterior walls should be checked for water stains and other signs of damage, including cracks and openings that may give pests a place to take root. Foundations should also be thoroughly examined for cracks, and any cracks that appear should be immediately sealed by a professional. Finally, make sure that the caulking and weather stripping around your windows is in good shape, and that your windows seal properly.
Inside, start with a thorough spring cleaning to remove any build up of dust. If you notice evidence of mould or mildew, take immediate action to remove them as they can cause structural damage and present health risks if left unchecked. This is especially important in the attic, a favourite spot for mould and mildew to grow. Moving into the basement, look for evidence of water penetration, which will typically show up at the base of any cracks in the walls. Finally, check all faucets and water fixtures for signs of leaks.
Finally, move on to perform an inspection of your property. Rake your lawn and apply an organic herbicide formulation to inhibit weed growth, then check your deck or patio for any signs of new damage. Stain and apply a sealant to your wood deck, and do the same to any other wooden structures, like fences, gazebos, and trellises.
The Importance of Performing a Home Inventory Check
Spring is also a great time to take an inventory of the valuable items you keep inside your home. While your homeowners’ insurance policy does provide some degree of automatic protection for the contents of your home, items of significant value should always be declared to your insurance company. You should update this list anytime you acquire something worth a considerable amount of money.
The value of your home’s contents can affect your insurance rates, which is why it’s important to know the difference between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement value (RV). In simple terms, ACV looks at the current value of the item, considering both appreciation and depreciation relative to its original cost. RV considers how much you would have to spend to replace the item, effectively accounting for appreciation but not depreciation. For this reason, RV policies generally come with higher premiums, but also provide better protection.
Coverage Options to Consider
Renewal time is when you’ll want to make any necessary changes to your home insurance coverage, and it’s essential that you have a good understanding of your different coverage options to make sure you choose the right type of policy. In basic terms, home insurance policies can be separated into two types:
- Named perils policies, which protect you against specific risks of your choice, such as fire, vandalism, weather damage and falling objects
- Comprehensive or all-risk policies, which protect you from all possible perils except for any you choose to exclude
If you live in Alberta’s flood plain, you should also be aware that flood insurance is now available to homeowners.
Get Great Advice and Low Rates at Lane’s Insurance
If you need insurance advice, or if you’re thinking about changing insurance providers, the caring and knowledgeable brokers at Lane’s Insurance are a great resource. Lane’s Insurance is a full-service Alberta-based brokerage, offering competitive rates, excellent claims support and outstanding customer service. Visit Lane’s Insurance online today to get a fast, free home insurance quote.