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Home maintenance checklist

Home maintenance checklist to help avoid insurance claims

When people think about home insurance claims, they often envision major disasters, but in reality, many claims are completely preventable.   By conducting a regular maintenance check around the house, you can greatly reduce the risk of an unnecessary claim. Most of these checks can be performed every three months unless otherwise noted.


  • Make sure to locate the water shut-off valve outside the house and mark it properly so that the water can be shut off quickly in case of an emergency
  • Check the supply hoses going into the washing machine. Look for signs of fraying or rust around the coupling.  If you see anything suspect, replace the hose.
  • Inspect the waste pipes under all sinks; make sure not loose and no sign of leakage
  • Inspect all hot and cold supply lines and shut off valves (do not turn the valves, just look for corrosion or leakage and call a licensed plumber if detected)
  • Call a plumber immediately if there’s rust in the tap water
  • Be on the lookout for big changes in your water bill. A significant hike can be the first indication of a costly leak.
  • Check water heater for signs of corrosion or leaks
  • Flush your water heater to remove sediment build-up. (removing a few gallons from the bottom of the tank will do this)
  • Check temperature relief valve on the water heater for corrosion or leakage. (do not open valve, rotate in a circular motion to make sure valve is not stuck)
  • Call a licensed plumber if anything is suspect with the water heater
  • Locate and make sure no water is coming from the emergency drain line for the HVAC unit. (this drain is usually located over a window or door so can be easily noticed)  Water dripping from the emergency drain line is a warning indicator that something is drastically wrong with primary condensate drain system and a qualified service technician is needed.
  • Check HVAC emergency drain pan for water (call service tech if water is found)
  • Pour a cup of half bleach/half water into the access for the drain line every 6 months to prevent mold/mildew buildup which can clog the drain

Fire Prevention:

  • Locate and mark your gas shut-off valve so you can close quickly in an emergency
  • Have baking soda and a fire extinguisher readily available in the kitchen (Be particularly careful when heating oil or grease and never leave pots unattended)
  • Clean the lint screens in the clothes dryer frequently and have the exhaust pipe cleaned out professionally once a year.
  • Change the batteries in smoke alarms every six months.
  • Clear your yard of dead brush and trim back tree branches and shrubs away from the house
  •  Stack firewood away from your home — not against it.

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