Home maintenance questions to ask

Man working on water pipes

Every homeowner needs to have a timely check-up and seasonal upkeep checklist. For example, service line maintenance and exterior spring cleaning should be top of mind at this time of the year. Some questions to ask include how old your pipes are, what they’re made of, and what kind of foliage and debris you may have around your home.

Service line maintenance

Did you know that homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and replacement of service lines on their property when they fail?

Alarmingly, many homeowners are not aware that service line failures — including water, sewer, septic, electrical and telecommunications lines — are not covered by most home insurance policies.

Every homeowner should know what they’re covered for and what they’re not. Most service lines run underground, making it easy to forget the importance of getting them checked for repairs. Many homeowners are also not aware that they own the outdoor service lines from their property line to their house, and behind their house to a well, septic tank or outbuilding.

Before the unexpected break, leak, tear, rupture or collapse occurs, homeowners need to ask themselves the following questions about their service lines:

1. How old are your pipes?

The water pipes could last between 20-70 years depending on the material they are made of. Knowing the age of your water pipes will help you determine whether they’re due for a repair or a replacement. A licensed plumber can help determine the age of your pipes.

2. What are your pipes made of?

Depending on what your pipes are made of, the life expectancy will differ. It’s important that you check the material of your sewer and water pipes in order to make an educated assessment or consult a plumbing expert to see when they’re due for a repair or in need of a replacement.

3. Do you have mature trees near your property?

If you own a home with mature trees on or near your property, the roots could cause serious damage to your service lines. Clay pipes, which are most commonly used to build water and sewer lines in older homes, can be easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. If you suspect a tree root problem, contact a professional to investigate the area before damage occurs. The cost of repairing or replacing piping and wiring on your property can be costly and usually isn’t covered by standard home insurance policies.  Service Line Coverage is an optional type of coverage that you can add to your home insurance policy to protect you from losses due to failure of these service lines. To learn more about service line coverage, click here or speak to your broker or an Aviva representative.

Understanding the above details about your property and protecting it with the right coverage can save you thousands of dollars.

Spring exterior cleaning

An additional home maintenance that homeowners should also consider during the spring time is to rid the home and exterior property of the build-up that has occurred during the winter months.

The winter season brings a lot more headaches than cold weather and snow. Many of the effects of winter are noticed in the spring and it’s important to take care of those excess snow problems before they lead to serious property damage.

Here are four simple tips to help make exterior spring-cleaning a breeze this year:

  1. Inspect your property: Frozen ground can cause shifts in your landscaping and patios, which, if left unattended, can result in costly repairs and injuries. Be sure to inspect your walkways and driveways for cracks.
  2. Remove debris from your gutters: Ensure that leaves and dirt are removed to prevent water blockage.
  3. Repair damage to your roof:  Replace missing or damaged shingles to prevent leaking roofs.
  4. Examine fences around your property and pool: Ensure fences are still sturdy and lock properly to prevent injury and intruders from entering your yard.

By following these helpful tips, you can identify damage in advance and assess if you need to consult an industry professional for repairs. These steps will also help prevent injury and keep you safe.

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