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Your Annual Home Checklist Guide

For many of us, our homes are the biggest financial investment we will make during our lifetime. That’s why it’s crucial to spend some time each year thoroughly checking your home for needed repairs, updates and safety.

While spending a weekend cleaning out the gutter or changing flood lights in the backyard sounds a bit taxing, it will save you money in the long run and keep your home in working order longer. It could also expose potential safety hazards that could harm your family, house guests or the home itself.

We recommend homeowners use this handy checklist at least once a year to make sure all the bells and whistles still function properly:

Roof – Have a professional roofer check for missing or damaged shingles, or shingles that have suffered granular loss. Remove any debris or built-up moss that can reduce your roof’s life expectancy. Clean gutters of any leaves, branches or other debris.

Siding and gutters – Repair any damaged or loose siding and replace any damaged gutters, soffit or fascia.

Exterior paint – Warm weather is also a great opportunity to paint siding or doors on your home or garage. A fresh coat of paint can help protect your home’s exterior from the elements.

Windows – Check caulking around windows, basement window wells and other areas where water may seep in. Also, make sure windows are in working order to avoid high energy bills.

Railings – Inspect all handrails and porch rails; make sure they’re securely fastened to prevent falls.

Sidewalks and driveways – Since outdoor activities rise with the thermometer, repair any sidewalk or driveway cracks or shifted cement to reduce the chance a guest could trip or fall. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy protects you from the possibility of an injury suffered on your property. Ask us to look at your policy if you’re not sure.

Outdoor lighting – Replace burnt-out bulbs in your outdoor lighting so that porches, steps and walkways have adequate lighting to safely navigate your property. Again, this can keep guests to your property safe and thus help you avoid a lawsuit against you should someone be hurt.

Other equipment – Have your air conditioning serviced before the cooling season, your furnace tuned up prior to winter, and clean out your clothes dryer vent to prevent a common fire hazard. Replace worn caulking around faucets and inspect pipes to make sure everything is in working order.

Home Alarms – Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and in your sump pump. While last on the list, these are certainly crucial to your safety and those who enjoy your home, too.

Note: Discuss your homeowner coverage with Lang Insurance to be sure your home and the investment it represents are adequately insured in the event of a loss.