It is no secret that regular and routine home maintenance is crucial for the longevity and upkeep of a home, but a new survey reveals that Americans are not doing all they could concerning their upkeep habits.
Conducted by Erie Insurance on behalf of Harris Poll, the survey found that Americans are becoming less concerned with maintaining their homes and are instead spending an exorbitant amount of money repairing their homes when they starts to fall apart.
Why is it important to invest in regular home maintenance? “By overlooking common DIY projects, homeowners are not only putting themselves at risk for major financial loss, but also are exposing their families to dangerous hazards,” explains Joe Vahey, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance to Bucks County Courier Times.
To prevent this from happening, here are some of the most commonly overlooked home maintenance habits to keep an eye out for.
Unclog gutters and downspouts
Almost one-fourth of homeowners admit to never taking care of their gutters. This is a huge problem because dirt and debris can build up, causing an overflow of water. This can lead to extensive and expensive basement flooding. Even worse, this type of claim is not typically covered by average insurance policies.
Inspecting the roof
Installing a new roof is one of the most expensive home maintenance projects out there, yet only 23% of homeowners inspect their roof when there is a visible problem. Waiting until a leak pops up can exceed over $20,000 in damages, as more often than not the roof is in such bad shape that it needs almost a full repair.
Even though the majority of homeowners — 71% — explain that they enjoy outdoor space simply because it is easy to maintain, doesn’t mean that they are actually maintaining it. This includes updating patios, weeding and gardening, and snow removal around the home’s foundation.
Servicing the furnace
The number-one culprit of home fires is a dirty furnace, yet only 36% of all homeowners have their HVAC systems professionally serviced at least once a year. To put into perspective the risk of a dirty furnace, consider that these home fires result in 470 deaths annually and $1 billion in damage nationwide.