The warmer months can be a cheerful time when we often forget about worries like water leaks or other issues that may only reveal themselves in the colder months. In some parts of the country, now is the best time to detect leaks due to seasonal rain.
Wherever you are based though, property maintenance falls under your responsibility as part of your short-term insurance, so avoiding wear and tear is the hottest move you can make to enjoy consistent cover. Paying your monthly premium is only really covering all the bases if you are adequately insured and holding up your end of the bargain.
It’s time to face the work needing to be done to get insurance-savvy, with added peace of mind. Here are some hot tips to help keep your home – and insurance contract – cool, calm and collected this summer, and always:
Be water-wise works
Water leaks can be problematic and should not be ignored. It can be frustrating to pay for a maintenance visit but contacting a trusted plumber to ask for a full bathroom and kitchen inspection, could end up saving you a lot more in the end. If you’ve noticed a dripping tap, or that your water bills are unusually high, the plumber should come in sooner rather than later.
Spot the signs
Mould, condensation or damaged flooring are all warning signs hinting at a leak. There can be other tell-tale signs, but you need to know what to look for. If you’re unsure about anything, your plumber (or leak technician) should be able to help.
Remember regular is better
Repair any loose or chipped tiles in your shower, clear out your draining system at least once a month to avoid hair, or kitchen waste clogging it, and check and reseal any areas with silicone every six months.
For the tasks that repeat more often than others, be sure to set reminders or mark them on your calendar, so you don’t forget to keep up with maintenance. Add your geyser to the list and any garden taps too. It’s early days as we begin another year, but time goes by quickly. Don’t squander it by avoiding or delaying important tasks; especially the ones that keep your home insured. It’s the roof over your head after all.
Take it outside
Gardens have taken a knock in some parts of the country with the drought, but ensuring your sprinklers are tightly secured and sealed is still important (even if you hardly use them). If sprinklers go on unintentionally or a leak oversaturates your garden, the damage can be very costly. If the system is not used, make sure you have a separate stop valve in the sprinkler system that can be switched off preventing any unwanted leaks in the system. The foundation of your home, any surrounding outdoor furniture or structures that could become very wet are also at risk. These are all costly to repair depending on the extent of the damage. Also look out for shrubs or trees that have died that need to be cut back, as dry greenery can be a fire hazard. They shouldn’t be taking up any water resources your garden might be getting anyway, and with warmer weather, fire hazards should be strictly avoided at all costs.
Report running water
Carry water consciousness further by alerting your neighbour to their faulty faucet, or ill-maintained water tank that’s close to your wall (because their lack of attentiveness could come at an extra cost to you). Their insurance is just as likely to avoid pay-outs over wear and tear disputes. Your insurance will also look to your own maintenance if you need to claim for a third-party event, which is why it is better to keep your cover up to date and any issues on your property firmly at bay.
Water is a precious resource we should not take for granted. Let things flow best this year (and always) by being vigilant, getting essential checks done – and staying on top of maintenance tasks as the year goes by.
[Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure]