In most cases, exterior wear and tear can be the leading cause of interior damage and other secondary claims. There are instances where the claim may legitimately fall under a covered cause of loss, however there is always a risk of receiving a declination due to wear and tear and/or lack of maintenance. It’s important to remember that insurance policies are designed to protect against an unforeseen event. They are not designed to serve as a maintenance contract for repairs and updates. So, as spring transitions into summer take advantage of the great weather and consider tackling some maintenance needs around your property.
- Simple things like paint and stain can offer a layer of protection against the elements which protect wood and other products from decay. Paint and stain will always require re-application and ongoing maintenance.
- Roof replacement, storm damage repair, loose shingles, etc. are all sources of concern for future interior water damage. These do require outside professional services. Do not allow volunteers or staff to ascend to the top of the roof for such inspections and maintenance.
- Gutters, soffits and downspouts are also necessary considerations for your maintenance list. Again, water being redirected due to damage, clogged pathways or decay can cause problems.
- Check the seals on windows, the locks and surrounds. Do they show signs of water penetration or staining? If so, it’s likely they are in need of repair or replacement. Locks should be in great shape to avoid the risk of a break-in.
- Doors, door hinges and locks should be considered part of your quick check. Repair and replace all areas that are showing signs of deterioration or improper operation.
- Sidewalks, steps and stairs may buckle, crack and crumble as they age. To avoid a trip and fall claim, replace the areas that have fallen into disrepair.
- Parking lots are also in need or pothole repair, sealant application and stripping from time-to-time. There are many professional companies designed to inspect and repair large commercial lots. They would be an excellent resource as you move forward with parking lot maintenance.
- Hand rails and ramps are critical for those needing extra assistance navigating uneven surfaces. If you have hand rails, are they rust-free, splinter-free and well secured? If not, it may be time to repair and replace these valuable aids. Also, are the ramps up to code and in good condition? Wheel chairs and other mobility devices may be used while traveling on a ramp. Please be sure they are safely maintained to avoid an incident.
- Lighting is more than just an esthetically pleasing element of your property. They need to be functional to do the job they are intended for – safely illuminating walkways, etc. Light bulb replacement, fixture repair and electrical updates may be required. Again, please remember professional services are necessary for more specialized electrical maintenance.
- Foliage, trees and shrubs are lovely. However, vines crawling up a building are concern for extra moisture damage to a building. Trees in need of a trim may fall during a storm or due to decay. Shrubs not well maintained can cause sight issues and provide a hiding place for burglars and trespassers.
Regular maintenance is always a wise investment in the future safety and longevity of your structures. Enjoy the spring weather and take pride in caring for your property!