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Vero Voice Blog

Alert Level 4 home maintenance to-do list

Richard Godman

By Richard Godman

Manager Technical Underwriting, Consumer Insurance

09 April 2020

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As we settle into life at Alert Level 4 due to the Covid-19 lockdown, you might find you have some extra time on your hands. Why not use it to take a walk around the house and garden to check things are in good working order. Keeping up to date with repairs and home maintenance can help to protect your investment.

Here are seven things you can do or check around the house that don’t require a trip to the hardware store...

Whatever you do, do it safely. Don’t forget to use appropriate protective clothing and equipment and only undertake tasks that are within your own skillset. Engage the help of a professional if you need it. If they are closed during the lockdown, set a reminder on your phone to contact them when they reopen. 

 

  1. Do a visual check of the roof from the ground for any cracked or loose tiles or damage to other roofing materials. Make note of any damage and set a reminder to contact a professional when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
  2. Check the external walls and internal linings and timber work in the house for any signs of dry rot, decay or water damage, or even areas requiring a spot of paint. Don’t forget about any other buildings that make up your home, e.g. the separate garage and/or sheds. 
  3. Check your smoke alarms are working. Replace the batteries and give them a test run. It’s also a good time to check your power points and light switches. 
  4. Check your appliances. Make sure there are no worn or frayed cables and that all plugs sit securely in the socket outlet. Loose plugs can be a sign of poor connection which could result in sparking or overheating. Clean out the lint trap of your dryer (ideally this should be after every use). Lint is highly combustible and leaving it to collect in the dryer increases the risk of fire.  
  5. Inspect your gutters and drainpipes, if you can do so safely. Clogged gutters can cause water overflow and damage to the walls and foundations of the house. Check that all drainpipes and gutters are properly attached, and that water flows away from the house which will save you from water damage issues during upcoming winter months.  Depending on your home, cleaning your gutters may be better suited as a post-lockdown task, when appropriate help is available. In that case, set yourself a reminder to come back to it once lockdown is lifted.
  6. Take the opportunity to get out and inspect the garden. Tend to the gardens and make sure that they are not left to build up too heavily against the exterior walls of your home. Inspect large trees on your property for any signs of rot and make sure they are not disrupting powerlines and foundations. 
  7. Maintain your fences, retaining walls and decks. Be on the lookout for signs that they are starting to shift and make sure all loose planks are repaired. 

The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. It is not personal advice and any description of an insurance product or service is not a complete description of all the terms and conditions applicable to the particular insurance product or service. You should consult a qualified adviser for advice on whether the information in this article is suitable for your personal situation and needs. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.

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