Life is unpredictable. All manner of things happen that threaten our lives, properties, possessions and everything in between. We make massive investments in time and money to secure these things daily. A home is probably the largest investment most people have and so the need to do everything you can do to protect it goes unsaid.
The dangers that belie your home vary depending on which side of the country you live as well as the occupants who live in the house (whether you or tenants). In either case, securing your investment comes with taking several appropriate steps to protect your investment both before a calamity strikes and after, in the form of compensation.
- Get Proper Insurance
There are no surprises here. Insurance is to life what seatbelts are to cars. You just cannot have one without the other. Taking out home insurance is a sure way to get compensation if your home becomes damaged by a catastrophe. While insurance will not stop the catastrophe and is neither a mitigative factor, it does ensure that whatever gets damaged is returned to its previous state at little to no cost to you.
Aside from natural calamities, you may also need to secure your property against a different kind of calamity: foreclosure. If you are concerned that you may not be able to complete the mortgage payments, taking up mortgage protection life insurance may be an option to avert this catastrophe.
2. Maintain Your Plumbing
Most homes that experience water damage started off with a simple plumbing issue that got overlooked. When this happens, flooding is inevitable. Depending on what you have in the home, the cost of this kind of flooding could be anything from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars in damage.
Fixing a plumbing problem would be probably easier than replacing all your furniture, it makes sense to maintain your plumbing on a regular basis. It goes without saying that if you live in an area prone to flooding you may not have much to do to protect your home against this type of calamity. Even so, you would still have the option of taking out flood insurance.
3. Check Your Wiring
Most home fires can be traced back to an electrical fault that caused a fuse to blow or a short-circuit. The real danger of electrical fires is that they can start anywhere in the house, especially behind walls or other structures. Because these areas offer readily flammable materials, fires catch on fast. To avoid electrical fires, ensure your home undergoes thorough electrical maintenance at least once every three years.
Also, avoid any DIY electrical installations especially if what you are installing is not patching into the mains via a socket. As you may not be aware of what effect such an installation will have on the overall circuitry of the home, it is best to get a pro to do the installation.
4. Upgrade Your Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors
Fires catch on because they go undetected for a sufficiently long time. In the home, most fires start either in the kitchen or in the bedroom. If you wish to protect your home from fire, make sure you have smoke detectors installed in every bedroom and the kitchen as a bare minimum. Of course, if you have a large home it is recommended that you have smoke detectors in every room of the home.
Fire alarms are another must when protecting your home. If a smoke detector catches a whiff of smoke, you want the fire alarm to alert you as vigorously as possible. The thing about fire alarms and smoke detectors is that they are even more important when it comes to protecting the occupants of the home, compared to the home itself. Keep your home and your loved ones safe by ensuring a fire alarm and smoke detectors are installed and working well.
5. Ensure Proper Roofing
Batten down the hatches! Hurricane season is here! Well, not really. Your home’s roof is the most important structure when it comes to the integrity of the entire property. If your roof has issues, the home will quickly become a danger to occupants. Securing your roof goes towards mitigating catastrophes related to leaking roofs, frozen roofs, blown-off roofs, etc.
How you secure your roof will depend on which side of the country you live. If you are in the west, then you need wildfire proofing. If you live in the east especially in Florida, Texas or Louisiana, then hurricanes are what you need to secure your roof against.
6. Winterize Your Home
As winter often comes with extreme conditions, getting your home ready for winter is another way you can protect your home against catastrophe. As every part of your home will be strained, winterizing your home is a substantial undertaking.
You will need to look at roofing, including fixing ice dams and insulation; plumbing, ensuring pipes are well insulated to avoid freezing; installing storm doors and windows, etc. To do all this effectively, assess your home thoroughly during summer. Make the necessary repairs and installations before the first leaf falls. This way, you know that anything that needs to dry out will do so before the first snowflake falls.
7. Trim Your Trees
Trees around your property are another catastrophe waiting to happen if not caught in time. Aging trees are especially dangerous as they may have limbs that are too heavy to support further. While you may see the limbs swaying in the wind seemingly weightlessly, these limbs can weigh up to a ton.
Such a limb crashing down on your roof would be equivalent to a small car crashing through. The results can be devastating. To avoid this, have a landscaping company come in and assess the trees on your property and debranch any trees that represent even a marginal assessed risk to your home.
Protecting your home from catastrophe is an ongoing activity that you will need to undertake for the duration of your stay in the home. As earlier mentioned, protecting your home is not so much about protecting the physical structures but more so protecting the precious life that resides under your roof.