Prevent damage to your home

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: ImproveTips

The sounds of birds chirping, longer daylight hours, and blooming trees and flowers are signs that warmer weather is on the way. That means more time outside to enjoy nature, but it’s also a sign it might be time for a little maintenance as summer heats up.

“Now’s the time to check for potential home repairs and maintenance,” said Christopher O’Rourke, Mercury Insurance vice president of property claims. “Minor home repairs can get your home in tip-top shape so you can enjoy it throughout the rest of the year.”

Here are four tips O’Rourke recommends to save some money down the road.

1. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS

Gutters collect debris over time, especially when rain, snow and wind cause twigs, pine needles and leaves to settle on your roof and in your rain gutters. Accumulated debris can create blockages that direct water into the home or, in areas without much precipitation, can act as kindling in the event of a fire. Buildup also allows mildew and mold to develop, which can slowly decay a home’s exterior and roof.

“Preventable damage like mold or mildew that develops and rots a home’s exterior isn’t covered by homeowners insurance,” said O’Rourke. “It’s important to routinely clean out gutters — even if you have gutter guards installed, they don’t completely protect against debris building up eventually.

An hour or two spent cleaning or checking your gutters is time well spent compared to the alternative.”

2. TRIM BRANCHES AND REMOVE DANGEROUS TREES

Thunderstorm frequency picks up in summer months, and high winds can occur year-round, so it’s best to get a jump on tree maintenance. Regularly trimming tree branches reduces their chance of breaking during a storm, which could cause power outages or property damage.

“Properly trimmed branches present a lower risk of falling onto your home, power lines or possibly injuring someone on your property,” said O’Rourke. “Also, in areas that are prone to wildfires, trimmed trees create a buffer zone to help lower the chances of flames easily jumping onto your roof.”

Consider having the trees on your property inspected by an arborist to determine their health, and have diseased trees removed before they topple over unexpectedly.

Removal costs vary depending on height and difficulty, but range from $100 to around $1,800.

These preventative costs are not covered by your homeowners policy but can be a wise investment that saves you time, money and anxiety.