Congratulations on your first home! Now that you’re unpacked and settling in nicely to your new abode, it’s time for a tiny reality check. As a renter your only responsibility was to pay rent and not destroy the property. Now that you have a laundry list of ordinary things to be responsible for, it’s no wonder some things slide by unnoticed. Fortunately your agents at Whitford Insurance Network are one step ahead and have created this little cheat sheet to help you avoid any messy surprises in your first year as a homeowner!

  1. You have to vacuum your dryer vent pipe.
    • Lint is a fire hazard, so an annual cleaning is necessary to prevent dangerous clogging.
    • Check periodically, especially after a storm, to make sure that the flap is open to allow ventilation
  2. Your air/furnace filters need to be changed regularly
    • Replace the filter every 90 days to help keep your system running smoothly
    • Dirty filters raise your energy bill between 5 and 15 percent!
  3. Maintain your sump pump
    • If you don’t have a sump pump, go purchase one.
    • One inch of water is approximately $7,000 in damage, and depending on the cause/location may not be covered by your insurance.
    • Check the power and drainage prior to big storms.
    • Every 3 months clean the screen and check for broken or missing parts, or faulty pipe connections
  4. Clean your gutters
    • It’s not just an eyesore if your gutters are in disrepair, faulty gutters lead to foundation damage.
    • Issues with foundations cost thousands to repair, and any resulting damage may not be covered by your homeowners policy
    • Seasonally check for and remove debris
  5. Winterize your plumbing
    • Clean up from a burst pipe is typically $5,000 and upward
    • Wrap pipes in unheated sections of the home with foam insulation or heat tape
  6. Keep your yard tidy and public sidewalk clear.
    • Yard debris can garner fines from your community
    • You can be sued if someone slips and falls or trips over unkempt spaces, even if the sidewalk is property of the township or community!