Preparing the house for fall

Preparing the house for fall:

Here comes the start of the Fall season: time to start thinking about some annual tasks if you live in a part of the country with seasonal temperature changes.

 

Preparing the house for fall is a way to both prepare and prevent losses – a basic tenant of risk management.  As a first time homeowner, renter, millennial needing advice or 20 year homeowner needing reminder – this is good advice.

 

Here are some posts from the past that can help you through the change of seasons.

 

Inspect your heating system

Whether it’s a forced-air furnace at home or a boiler in your business, now is the time to get it inspected. Just as you need regular checkups for your body, your building’s “circulatory system” also needs periodic inspection.

 

Have a qualified inspector look things over, just to be safe. Sometimes this is covered at no additional charge in a service agreement. Make sure your heating system is in shape when you are ready to fire it up in cold weather.

 

Failure to have a working heating system in the depths of winter can be very expensive – with frozen pipes, Ice issues, or just generally more expensive to have HVAC contractor to come for an emergency visit.

 

See also…Winter Storm damage and insurance concerns

 

Close and secure your pool

If you live in an area where you can’t swim all year, think about how you close your pool for the season.

 

Make sure you get ready for the cooler weather by safely stowing items to prevent damage, and drain the water.  Draining the lines is important to prevent freezing of the pipes or other areas of the system.

 

Make sure you block access to the pool area to prevent accidents.

 

Guests and trespasser can have accidents on your property and this would be unfortunate on many accounts.

 

Put away Toys, Tools, and adult recreational items

Even grown-ups have toys, and some of them (motorcycles, boats, convertibles or RVs) have price tags that are not child’s play.

 

Make sure your grill is covered.   Put away deck furniture.

 

But in cooler areas, the change of seasons means an opportunity to save a little money.

 

If you store your car, boat or motorcycle for the cold months, see if your insurance policy offers a credit. You’ll still want property coverage, but if you’re not using your toy, you might not need the liability coverage for the winter months and can save the associated expense.

 

Preventing the damage to expensive toys is the main rationale behind winterizing and storing, this can be timely depending on how close you live to storage facility so plan ahead.

 

Complete annual home maintenance

Before it gets too cold or unpleasant to work outside, make one last run at your home maintenance “to-do” list.

 

Cut back plant and wildlife from home, inspect trees, plant seeds, etc.

 

Clean and remove leaves, clean gutters, pipes, storm windows, weatherstripping – it’s a lot easier to work on them now than to wait until it’s below freezing. 
 

Clean and prepare deck for snow removal.

 

Test Fall/Winter equipment

Test your leaf blower, snow blower, and other fall and winter equipment prior to the season approaching.

 

Oils and Gas can go stale, spark plugs need to be changed, spider webs removed, etc.

 

Again, these items are more expensive to repair during season and you can get trapped or stuck during an emergency.

 

Thoughts

Home ownership isn’t easy, but a little preparation and hard work can prevent you from having issues down the road.

 

If your reading this it’s the first step and good sign, next get out and practice good homeowner risk management.

 

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The Millennial Shark

The Millennial Shark

The Millennial Shark is a contributor to InsuranceShark, focused on topics that include Millennials in Insurance, personal finance, insurance topics, risk, the future of underwriting. He currently works in the industry and will be a regular contributor on various topics.

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