Autumn is Right around the Corner

Like many of us, I love autumn. The crisp apples in early September remind us that the leaves will soon be changing. Along with the beauty of the season, we should take the time to ensure that the spaces in which we live, work and play are a safe environment, so that there is a lesser chance of injury.

This may sound like common sense, but it is often easy to forget to check up on the little things.

We recommend that you follow these suggested steps in order to provide better protection and potentially avoid a costly insurance claim.

Walkways, Driveways, and Steps. Take the necessary precautions and repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps. Damaged walkways are a hazard year-round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems now will also be critical in preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches. Look for cracks larger than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths. Most small jobs are well within the ability of a do-it-yourselfer, but save major repairs for the more experienced.

Outside Faucets and Irrigation Systems. If you live in an area with freezing weather, take steps to ensure that outside faucets and in ground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst. Here’s how: Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freeze-proof” you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at most home centers and hardware stores. To freeze-proof an inground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining it and protecting it from winter damage.

Roofs and Gutters. Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls. That is why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.

Following these simple steps will not only prevent damage to your home and property, but will help to protect your friends and family.

Have a happy and safe autumn season!

Jon Barron, AAI
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