While most home owners have insurance of some kind to protect their belongings from damages like flooding, fire, and other potential problems, there may be hidden home dangers that put you at greater risk! These tips will help you protect your home by identifying 7 hidden home dangers before an insurance claim happens.
7 Hidden Home Dangers
1. Inspect your roof and attic
The number one concern with the roof is leaks. Undetected water leaks can seep into your home for months and you may not know it. The longer the leak occurs and moisture builds, the more likely you will have to deal with costly mold problems. If that isn’t bad enough, you will likely need to remove and replace all the wet materials as well.
Yearly roofing inspections will help you identify potential problems before severe damages occur. Ideally, you should hire a professional to do the inspection, but if you choose to inspect the roof yourself, be sure to take proper safety precautions.
If you have an attic in your home, periodically check for leaks. Be sure to inspect it during rainy days as well as it will help you identify leaks easier. While in the attic, check for signs of pests, such as rodents and insects that could cause potential problems as well.
2. Maintain your laundry room
It is important to routinely clean the built in lint traps on your dryer to prevent build up, which becomes a fire hazard. In addition, clean out the pipe that vents out warm air build up in your dryer at least once a year. Not only will this lower your risk of a fire, it will also improve the air flow in your dryer, helping it to run more efficiently and save more energy.
Another precautionary measure is to avoid drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains; if possible dry these items outside. The reason you want to avoid drying these types of items relates to the fact that debris from your dryer can accumulate and these chemicals, along with the heat from the dryer can lead to a fire.
3. Inspect the basement
The basement is often used as a storage area, but it also provides a place for mold to grow undetected. Inspect your basement often for signs of mold, especially if it ever feels stale or musty.
In addition, if you have an oil furnace, have it inspected annually.
Oil furnace jets and vents can become clogged if not regularly cleaned. The resulting build up can create a fire hazard and can cause soot to blow back into your home if vents are not clear.
If your furnace has not been cleaned for a long time, a professional should be called to clean your furnace. This should be done yearly before you will begin using it for the season.
4. Cooking safety
Cooking is the number one cause of house fires.
Having clutter or other flammable objects near the stove, including towels, recipe books, etc pose an increased risk. Always have someone watching the stove top when cooking. In addition, never use water to douse a grease fire should one start. Grease fires can spread very quickly so to be safe, keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
5. Maintain your fireplace and chimney
Much like your oil furnace, it is recommend that you have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a professional.
To help avoid a chimney fire:
– Only burn dry, seasoned wood.
– Burn smaller fires so they burn completely and produce less smoke.
– Do not burn cardboard, paper, trash or Christmas trees in your fireplace.
– Clear away debris and flammable decorations from the fireplace hearth.
– Do not use flammable liquids to start your fireplace or wood stove fires.
– Ensure smoke alarms are installed and working properly.
6. Outdoor dangers
In addition to protecting the inside of your home, it is important to maintain outdoor hazards as well.
Some tips to keep the outside of your home safe include:
– Trim tree limbs that are close and could fall and damage your home.
– Lawn furniture and other objects in your yard should be put in storage or in your garage during periods of bad weather, particularly high winds.
– Maintain the brush and landscaping to prevent fires from starting or spreading to your home.
7. Check plumbing
Check your plumbing regularly for leaks and ensure they are insulated properly for the winter.
Visually inspect all lines in bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, and any other areas where plumbing fixtures are.
In addition, check the hoses of your washing machine and the water hose that goes into your refrigerator if it has an ice maker. Don’t forget to inspect the water heater as well.
Look for signs of water damage on ceilings and walls, including water stains. If you are concerned about hidden leaks, invest in a thermal imaging inspection to identify them. Thermal imaging is also beneficial because it can identify potential hidden electrical hot spots.
As a final precaution, if you are planning to go on a vacation or away for the holidays, inform a trusted neighbor or friend and have them check your house. You may also want to completely shut off the water to your home if you will be gone long.
Your home is your biggest investment and you need to protect it properly. If any of these hidden home dangers in your home go untreated, it could increase your risk of needing to file an insurance claim. Follow these tips to ensure your home is safe, inside and out and for more ways to keep your home protected from damage, just call us at 724-929-2300. We will tailor an insurance policy to fit your needs at the best price possible! Save more time and money when you let CSC Insurance Options do the comparing for you. Get a free quote today.