Identify Your Home’s Top Danger Zones

3216543078_6ecbe9dc86_mWhile a house fire is one of the costliest disasters that can strike your home, the water damage caused by leaks or hidden plumbing problems are the most frequent reasons for home insurance claims. Identifying your home’s top danger zones is important to having a plan to fix them and ward off catastrophes.

1. Unattended cooktops

Your home’s stove and cooktop is the number one cause for house fires. Over 40% of all house fires start in the kitchen and the stove is the most common culprit.

  • Never leave burners on and unattended

  • Keep combustibles a safe distance away

  • Keep the batteries in your smoke detectors fresh

2. Hot Roof

A roof that is too warm in the wintertime melts snow, which sounds like a good thing in theory, but the runoff freezes when it meets the cold gutter. This frozen water forms an ice dam. When new snow falls and more water melts that water freezes and is forced under the shingles at the edge of your roof. This causes water damage around the perimeter of your home and come warmer weather, that water leaks into your home.

  • Add insulation into your attic – keep the heat inside and the roof cool

  • Add attic vents to keep the roof cool

  • Keep gutters cleared of leaves and debris

Clogged gutters overflow and allow water to pool around the foundation of your home, leading to unnecessary basement leaks. An infrared home inspection can give you the feedback you need to discover whether your roof is cool in the winter.

3. Bad Wiring

Old or faulty electrical wiring can short out and start a fire. Signs that your wiring is trouble include frequent blown fuses, flickering lights, and even a tingle when you touch a wall switch or appliance. Poorly installed wiring can overheat inside the walls of your home and eventually it will fail.

  • Replace old circuit breakers with arc-fault interrupters
  • Replace wiring that is overheating or over 40 years old

An investigative infrared home inspection can see when electrical wiring is overheating.

4. Leaking Pipes

A pipe that freezes and cracks just one eighth of an inch can end up costing you 250 gallons of water every day.

  • Insulate exposed pipes with foam sleeves

  • Before winter, turn off the outdoor water then leave the taps open to release water

  • Insulate pipes in the crawlspace and unheated places inside your home

5. Laundry Room

In the laundry room, the washer and dryer represent two specific dangers. First, the inlet hose to the washer can burst, sending a torrent of water into the laundry room and your home. Replace rubber hoses with braided steel ones instead and check for leaks regularly.

Second, the lint that builds up inside the dryer cabinet where the heating element is housed can cause a fire. Brush or vacuum lint buildup around the filter every few months.

Andrew MacDonald can help homeowners discover what’s hidden from plain sight. He works throughout Algonquin, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, and the surrounding areas. Give him a call today at 888-852-8298 to schedule your home infrared inspection today.

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