Admit it. You want your home to be in good condition but you don’t necessarily want to spend your time off up a ladder, pulling leaves out of a gutter, fixing broken things, and generally tending to your home.
But when your home is your biggest investment, maintaining it is a non-negotiable.
Also… If you have buildings insurance (or any insurance for that matter), it’s part of your contract with your insurer to look after your stuff.
What this means is that when you get our royal cover for your valuables, like your car, home, or devices, you need to take reasonable, necessary steps to prevent or minimise loss, damage, injury, or liability. This includes maintaining your property so that it’s in a fit and sound condition.
Basically, if something goes wrong with your home and you put in a buildings or home contents insurance claim, and we discover that the reason why you’re claiming is because you haven’t been looking after your property, then your claim could be rejected.
It’s far better to avoid all that by using the king’s summer home maintenance checklist.
Starting with the outside
- General debris: Rake up leaves, clear branches, and move rocks that are cluttering up your grounds.
- Trees: Dead or dying trees are a hazard, so remove dead branches and get in a tree expert to fell trees that pose a problem.
- Hedges and beds: Pull out the dead bits, trim what’s overgrown, and plant your favourite perennials.
- Lawns: Reseed the bald patches, lay down fertiliser, get cracking on the weeding, and make sure you’ve had your mower serviced so that it’s fit for summer growth.
- Sprinklers: If your plants and lawn need extra water, it might be time to set up a sprinkler system. Make sure the valves are clean, replace the leaky ones, and check that the spray is wide enough.
- Pool: Keep leaves and debris out of the water, scrub the sides once or twice a month to keep algae growth under control, check the filter basket and chemical levels weekly, and keep an eye on the water level.
Moving onto your home’s exterior
- Walk around and inspect: Look for cracks in the concrete, the condition of the driveway, loose or broken roof shingles, signs of wear on your chimney, and signs of water pooling or cracks on the facade and foundation.
- The gutters: Clogged gutters are a big problem, so clean them at least twice a year (or more frequently if necessary). Also, check for damage.
- Bath your house: Houses can get pretty grimy, with grit stuck to the façade and bird droppings, so wait for a dry day, close all the windows and doors, and pull out your garden hose or even hire a power washer if necessary.
- A fresh paint job: Exterior paint protects your property from water damage and rot, so look for signs of peeling or chipping paint and do a touch-up where needed.
- The patio: Sweep it clean, pull out any leaves or debris from between the boards and check for signs of cracked wood and loose nails. After a proper scrub down, treat the wood with borate for algae to protect against wood rot, before staining and sealing.
Let’s go inside
- Plumbing: Either call in a plumber for an annual check-up, or give your pipes a good once-over to check for signs of leaks, inspect your ceilings for tell-tale water stains, and look for dripping taps.
- Ceiling fans: Dust them off and reverse the setting to counter clockwise, which pushes the air down and creates a nice breeze.
- Air-conditioning: Clean out the filters and if there’s a weird noise, get in a professional.
- Check your smoke detectors and replace them with new ones if necessary.
- Bugs and other pests: Some infestations, like a single trail of ants, can be resolved with a spray can and a thorough cleaning of the area, but others, like termites, demand professional assistance.
For the good of king and castle
We hope that this checklist helps, not just to help you keep your home running like a well-oiled machine, but also if you’re considering selling your home in the future, you could get a better price if you’ve taken care of it.
Oh, and of course, maintaining your home will also make sure that you’ve done all that you can to prevent an incident that could cause damage and loss. And if something does happen, then it’s more likely that your claim will be paid out.
Don’t have the king’s buildings or home contents insurance in your life? Click here for a commitment-free quote today!