This week marks the start of spring – and with the country in lockdown now is a great time to make the most of our extended time at home to check in on maintenance jobs around the house.

Keeping your house in the best condition possible with regular maintenance is a standard obligation to take ‘reasonable care’ insurance policies. It’s there to ensure you take precautions and steps to maintain your belongings, even though you have insurance, and applies to your house, contents and motor vehicle insurance.

Alongside general maintenance it is also a good time to check your insurance policies are current and that you’re familiar with policy inclusions and exclusions. Take a moment to check you have the right sum insured for your house using an online calculator, be sure to factor in any renovations you have recently completed. It also pays to check your contents policy and add any high value items you may have purchased in the last year, like art, business tools or an e-bike. For motor vehicles, check your sum insured or agreed value doesn’t need to be changed.

Here are a few things to check on as part of our spring clean.

  • check for winter wear and tear on your house including things like the condition of the paint on weatherboards or the condition of exterior bricks;
  • check the overall weathertightness of your house, if any maintenance is needed on your roof such as painting or tiles being replaced, if any cladding needs repairing, and the condition of seals around windows and doors;
  • check gutters and spouting to make sure they are clear of debris and leaf litter;
  • in the garden check trees for broken or damaged branches from severe weather during winter or strong spring winds and remove the ones you can;
  • check your drains and clear away any remaining storm debris and leaves, and if necessary, check for tree roots if you continue to experience blocked drains;
  • because gradual damage is not generally covered it’s a good idea to check the ‘wet’ areas, kitchen, bathroom and laundry, in your house including the washing machine and dishwasher hoses for wear and tear, and that washers and fittings are in good condition.
  • check when your car was last serviced, if it is due soon you could set yourself a reminder to book it in when alert level restrictions ease.
  • You should also check the pressure and condition of your car tyres each month. If they are over six years old think about getting them replaced to ensure they have the best road adhesion possible.

While a lot of these are things you can do, some maintenance may require the help of a professional, so make a note or call your plumber or builder to see how they can help when we go back down alert levels.

For a full annual maintenance check list check out these resources from BRANZ and EQC.

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