With warmer weather quickly approaching, now’s an opportune time to prepare your home for the summer months. Whether you plan on hitting the road or continuing to hunker down at home, there are a few things you should be doing as a responsible homeowner to make the most of the coming months.
We’ve gathered seven tips for preparing your home for unpredictable weather, common damage and protection against theft.
Tip #1: Install a Home Security System
According to a 17-year study conducted by the Bureau of Justice, household burglaries occur most often in the summer months. In fact, burglary rates were 11 percent lower in winter, nine percent lower in spring and six percent lower in the fall.1
It’s likely this number rises in the summer months as more families travel and vacation out of town. If you typically take family vacations, or you’d like to have peace of mind all year round, you may want to consider installing a home security system.
Tip #2: Review Your Emergency Fund
You never know when unexpected home problems may arise, so make sure you have a fund set aside to cover emergency expenses. While this isn’t necessarily a warm-weather related tip, summertime marks the halfway point in a calendar year. If you had goals for padding your emergency fund throughout the year, review the progress you’ve made. And if you’re behind on your goal, or have yet to set one, now’s the perfect time to catch up and contribute.
Tip #3: Build an Emergency Kit
For those living along the Atlantic of Gulf Coast, hurricane season occurs every year between June 1 and November 30.2
If you live in this hurricane-prone area, it’s imperative that you have both supplies to protect your home and an emergency kit ready in the event you need to evacuate. Gather these materials at the start of summer, as supplies can be hard to come by once a hurricane has been spotted. For those living in other parts of the country, an emergency kit can help you in the event of a tornado, earthquake, mudslide, flood or other natural disaster.
Your emergency supply kit should include items such as:
- Water (A gallon per person a day for at least three days)
- Non-perishable food for at least three days
- Battery-powered radio
- First-Aid Kit
- Cell phone chargers3
Tip #4: Assess Your Insurance Coverage
Protecting both your personal property and home itself should be a must when it comes to safely enjoying some summer fun. If you currently have policies in place, review them to be sure there are no gaps in coverage. And if you think you may be missing important coverage, talk to your financial advisor or insurance agent as soon as possible.
Possible insurance coverage or add-ons to consider may include:
- Boats and RVs
- Pools and trampolines
- Travel (in or out of the country)
- Natural disasters such as flooding, lightning, hail, tornado, etc.
Tip #5: Inspect Your Roof & Home’s Exterior
With everything thawing out and warming up, it can be easy to forget how harsh a winter you may have had. If you had a particularly cold, windy or snowy wintertime, you may want to do an exterior check of your home. Inspect your roof and the outside of your home for possible damage. You’ll want to get these taken care of right away, as thunderstorms or hail could make matters worse.
Tip #6: Inspect Your Outdoor Plumbing
As the weather starts to warm up, now is the time to check that your outdoor spigots and irrigation system made it through the winter without any issues. Start by removing insulators from outdoor faucets and turn on the water. If it doesn’t flow as it should, it may be time to call a plumber. A simple tune-up will make your summer much easier and fix a small issue before it becomes big.
Tip #7: Check Your Air Conditioning Unit
Nobody wants to start the summer off with a faulty AC unit. Before peak season hits, be sure to change the filter and turn on the unit to assess how it’s doing. Even if everything is running well, you may want to call a professional, as preventative seasonal maintenance can save time and money later down the line.
Summer vacation is meant to be a care-free time spent with your family and friends, and if you can take something off your plate by preparing your home, then that’s one less thing to worry about.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.