Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Anyone who doesn’t believe in Murphy’s Law has never been a homeowner! I don’t know exactly how many things can go wrong inside and outside of a house, but at last count it was approximately 4 gazillion.
The costliest disaster that can strike your home is probably fire. The potential is there for complete destruction, not only from the flames, but also from the water damage that will occur after the fire department shows up. And speaking of water damage, it’s among the most frequent triggers for insurance claims when caused by leaks or plumbing problems.
Take a look this article Discover Your Home’s Top 10 Danger Zones. If you’re a homeowner, none of them will surprise you. But you’ll definitely pick up a few tips regarding precautions you can take to hopefully avoid experiencing them in your home.
Here’s the list of 10 problem areas that could lead to catastrophe in your home:
- Cooktop. About four out of every 10 home fires begin in the kitchen. Keep flammable materials away from the burners.
- Smoke detectors. Missing or dead batteries means that this crucial device can’t save lives. Change the batteries at least once a year.
- Roof. When a roof is too warm, it melts snow, which then freezes when it meets the cold gutter, resulting in an ice dam that forms beneath the shingles. Attic insulation can keep the roof cool.
- Gutters. When gutters get clogged with leaves and other debris, they’ll overflow, leading to basement leaks. Leaves should be removed every spring and fall.
- Wiring. If fuses are being blown frequently and your lights are flickering, it may be a sign that the wiring is going bad. If wires short out, a fire could start. Old circuit breakers should be replaced.
- Pipes. Even a tiny crack in a frozen pipe can result in a leak of up to 250 gallons a day. Exposed pipes should be insulated with foam sleeves.
- Dryer. When lint builds up in the dryer cabinet, it can cause a fire hazard. Keep the lint filter and cabinet clean.
- Washing machine. If an inlet hose bursts, water will flow freely into your laundry room and possibly leak into the basement. Braided steel hoses should replace rubber ones.
- Fireplace. The buildup of creosote causes most chimney fires, while sparks flying out of the hearth are also dangerous. The chimney should be swept annually and the screen kept closed when the fireplace is being used.
- Gas grill. If a gas supply hose gets a leak, it could present a fire hazard. Check the hose regularly and keep the grill at least 10 feet away from the house.
If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably experienced some other trouble areas besides the ones I mentioned. Please share them with me, as well as what you’ve done to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.