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Homeowners Insurance

Routine Once-Overs Can Ward Off Major Home Repairs

Want to stay ahead of having to make costly major home repairs? The easiest way to do this is by periodically looking around your home for potential problems. It’s not difficult to do – and shouldn’t take much time at all.


Routine assessments of your home could include tasks as simple as running water through all faucets and toilets to check for leaks, and having your AC professionally cleaned and maintained every 6 months. How often you should check your home for repair issues will depend on the age and condition of your home, and the type of problems you’re looking for.


Potential Problems & How to Identify Them

The following are some of the most common home repair issues and how to spot them early.


Water Leaks Inside the Home

Sure, a nagging drip-drip-drip from a bathroom faucet can be annoying – but it’s far easier to deal with than a water leak allowed to persist over time. Repeated water exposure may warp cabinet wood, rot drywall, and lead to mold growth, even under tile flooring. The latter occurs when grout shrinks or cracks over time, allowing water to get between and under the tiles. In these cases, mold can begin to grow within 24 hours of water exposure.  


Water leaks – what to look for:

  • Run water & look for leaks. Run water through sinks, toilets, showers/baths – then look for leaks under sinks or around the toilets and shower/bath areas. Watch this video for the top 10 reasons your toilet may leak. Also look for signs of water leaks after you’ve run your dishwasher or washing machine. If you’re not sure where a leak may be coming from, wrap a paper towel around pipes and check back to see if any part of the paper towel got wet.
  • Observe tiles near a water source. Look for loose tiles, cracked or missing grout, warps or uneven bulges in the flooring, and a musty smell.
  • Check windows and doorways after it rains. Make sure water isn’t seeping in through improperly sealed openings or damaged wood frames.


If you notice a leak, you’ll want to address the root cause of the problem (e.g., repair or replace corroded or worn-out parts), as well as fix any contributing factors (e.g., replace grout between tiles, especially when they’re near a source of water). Often, this will require calling the appropriate professional – plumber, tiling specialist, etc. 


Standing Water Outside the Home

Do you notice areas outside your home where water tends to collect and remain for a while after it rains? This is bad news for several reasons. Standing water outside the home can damage the foundation of your home, erode your landscaping (wash away soil, mulch, and plant material), encourage mold growth, and attract mosquitoes and other pests. It may even indicate a problem with a septic system or other underground service line on your property.


Standing water – what to look for:

  • Keep your roof, gutters, and yard free of debris. By regularly removing leaves, tree limbs, trash or other objects from these areas, you help ensure water flows unencumbered off your roof, through your gutters, and away from your home.
  • While inspecting your roof for debris, look for signs of missing or damaged shingles or tiles. These should be repaired right away to prevent water from seeping underneath the damaged or missing shingles or tiles and potentially causing a roof leak.
  • Landscaping in need of maintenance. Keep your trees trimmed so leaves and branches are less likely to fall onto the roof and clog your gutters. If there is standing water near the home, consider using deep-rooted trees, shrubs, and other plants to help absorb excess water and prevent soil erosion. Installing a French drain is another option.


Malfunction of Major Appliances

Routine checks of the appliances in your home you rely on every day can help you detect malfunctioning problems early, along with potential safety risks. It can also extend an appliance’s lifespan and improve its efficiency, which may also help lower your energy bills.


Major appliances – what to look for:

  • Don’t wait until there’s a problem with your AC! Every homeowner in Florida should have their AC professionally cleaned and maintained every 6 months. High heat and humidity in the state increases wear and tear on your HVAC system, and algae can be particularly quick to grow – and block the AC condensation line, leading to water backup and overflow.  Some of our carrier partners understand the importance of AC maintenance and offer discounts for having an HVAC maintenance contract in place.
  • Dirty filters. Replace the air filter in your home every 1-3 months, depending on the lifespan of the air filter you’ve purchased. This will help your HVAC system run smoothly and improve the air quality in your home. You’ll also want to replace or clean air or water filters in your refrigerator, dishwasher, water filtration system, range hood, or microwave.


Did you know you may be able to purchase insurance to protect the major appliances in your home, including your computer, electronics, and cellphones, from sudden and accidental damage other than from wear and tear? Easily add equipment breakdown coverage to your homeowners policy today by asking your agent at The Windward Insurance Agency if it’s available to you.


Fire, Smoke, & Potential Gas Leaks

While it may not be possible to save your home once a fire is out of control, having working fire/smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home can save lives. Make sure yours are functioning properly.

Fire, smoke & gas leaks – what to look for:

  • Dryer lint. Dryer lint is extremely flammable and the cause of nearly 14,000 home fires each year in this country. Remove lint from the dryer filter after each load of laundry. Once a year, have the entire dryer vent line cleaned out by a professional; they will typically clean the vent at the back of the dryer as well as where the vent exits the home (e.g., on the roof or side of the home).


Look for Home Repair Problems Now to Save Time & Money Later

Don’t wait until a little home repair problem becomes big, expensive, or even deadly. Many homeowners avoid looking for problems in their home, for fear of finding them. But wouldn’t you rather know what you’re dealing with instead of being surprised with an urgent and costly need at some moment in the future, when you can least afford either the time or the money? Start scanning your home regularly for potential home repair issues now. Future you will be ever so happy you did.


The insurance professionals at The Windward Insurance Agency have a long history of helping Floridians like you find the right type of homeowners insurance, along with how to protect your investment by making routine home repairs before they become a big, scary mess. 


Would you like assistance in getting the home protections you and your loved ones need? You can start by getting a quote online now – or simply call us at (866) 231-2433 for friendly, personalized assistance.