Good afternoon! Long time no write!
Sorry I’ve been so busy – working on quotes and assisting clients with claims has eaten up vast amounts of time in my calendar!
Just a quick list of things you can easily do to prevent a disaster from occurring in your home.
If you think there’s something I missed, feel free to email your idea to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 – Turn off your water supply at the main valve into the house before leaving for vacation.
2 – Always use metal water supply lines for all fixtures, especially heavy water users like your dishwasher or wash machine – plastic lines corrode far too quickly and can be pinched or severed accidentally. You can either use actual copper lines, or the metal-coated flex lines.
3 – Have your sump pump tested annually, preferably before the spring rainy season arrives. If you don’t know how to do it, contact a local plumber to assist you.
4 – Check your foundation walls for cracks every six months, especially looking for cracks that run across the face of the blocks. Cracks that follow the mortar/joints between blocks could be a sign of ordinary settling, whereas cracks across the blocks themselves could be an indication of pressure or other damage that should be closely monitored. If you do see a crack developing, cover it with a small amount of caulk, joint compound or spackle, and check every few weeks to see how quickly the crack is spreading. If it’s spreading quickly, or if it’s more than 1/4″ wide, contact a licensed foundation repair contractor immediately.
5 – Trim trees annually, especially those near the house. Make sure to remove all dead branches, and to “balance” the tree as much as possible so it’s not producing branches primarily on one side of the tree. Similarly, trim back all shrubs and other landscaping so it is at least a foot from the exterior walls of the house to prevent infestation by ants, termites, and other insects.
6 – Place splash pans or catch basins under your washer and hot water heater to catch leaks. Make sure the pan drains to a nearby floor drain.
7 – Inspect your foundation walls annually for termite tunnels (which often look like small mud tunnels on the block).
8 – Add long down spout extensions to the end of your gutters to direct rain water away from the foundation of the house – a one inch rain fall drops approximately 650 gallons of water on an average roof!
9 – Install surge protectors on all of your electronics and, when possible, appliances.
10 – Test the batteries in all smoke detectors at least once per year, and keep at least one ABC rated fire extinguisher on each floor of the house and an additional ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Replace them as indicated, or after any use.
Bonus tip – be sure to have your furnace/boiler cleaned and inspected on an annual basis before cold weather hits – preferably in the summer so if something comes up, you are not paying “emergency” or “rush” fees to your repairman!
Oh, and Happy Flag Day!