Financial Planning

Save on Home Repairs with an Annual "Inspection"

If you want to stay on top of home expenses, there are a few things you need to inspect once a year. Use this checklist to get started.

Spring Home Inspection Tune-Up in 10 Easy Steps

When winter storms wind down and spring begins to bloom, take time to give your home a tune-up. Doing this yearly could help you save money in the long run. Follow the 10 steps below to identify and resolve issues, keep your home strong and drive downenergy costs.

Your spring home inspection checklist:

  1. Roof and gutters

    Use binoculars to look for worn out and missing tiles or buckled shingles that allow water seepage. Hire a pro to remove any accumulated moss or debris. Clean gutters and look under the eaves for damage to your siding or stucco. Are there holes or gaps that pests can get through?

  2. Chimneys

    Visually inspect chimneys for missing stones, plants growing in the masonry or a white powdery deposit. While you can reseal the chimney to address the mineral deposits, missing stones or growing greenery require professional attention. Have a chimney sweep clean the flue to prevent fires.

  3. Attic and basement

    Inspect your attic and basement for signs of water leaks, dampness and infestation. Gray or black stains on walls or ceilings may be signs of mold and bulges may indicate water leaks. Call an exterminator if you see insect colonies, rodent nests or any “tunneling” underneath floor boards. Inspect the foundation for cracks/gaps and hire a structural engineer if any gaps are wider than one-quarter inch.

  4. Key appliances

    Examine your washing machine and dishwasher hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness. Increase the efficiency of your refrigerator by vacuuming dust from the coils. Clean your dryer vent each time you do laundry. Not only will it reduce your electric bill, it could save your life. If your dryer duct line is long, you may need to have it professionally cleaned once a year to prevent lint buildup in the line. According to FEMA, clothes dryers cause more than 15,000 structural fires each year.

  5. Water heater

    Open the spigot on the bottom of your water heater to drain out sediment that has built up during the year. It will last longer and use less electricity.

  6. Sinks

    Check your bathroom and kitchen sinks for sluggish drains, leaks and sweaty pipes.

  7. Surfaces

    Touch up cracked or peeling paint to beautify your home and create a barrier against insects and weather. Touch up caulking around water-prone areas in your home.

  8. Safety devices

    Keep your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors reliable by replacing batteries now and again in the fall. Test detectors regularly.

  9. Climate control

    Hire a professional to clean and service your air conditioner to keep it running at optimal performance and prevent summer breakdowns. Prune plants away from the unit to ensure a good airflow.

  10. Outdoors

    Hose down walkways and your driveway with a mild detergent to reveal erosion. Repairing small cracks or filling small pits is fairly easy and cost effective if done early. Repair fences and decks. Fix loose boards and nail pops and weather-proof wood surfaces every two years. Check garden hoses for leaks. Also, make sure your water sprinkler system is spraying correctly and there are no leaks in the pipes or heads.

Taking the time to compete these seasonal inspections and minor repairs will keep your home running smoothly and will protect your investment for years to come.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

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Household Finances

Spring is the perfect time to refresh yourself and your home. Looking at the inside and outside of your house may not seem appealing, but it has its benefits. Your household finances can stay in check when you understand the condition of your home. Protecting your investment is one of the major responsibilities of being a homeowner. For more information, visit our learning center.

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