Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Prevent Insurance Claims

Posted on May 31, 2022
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Prevent Insurance Claims

Whether you love the opportunity to clean, inspect, and do some maintenance work around the house, or you find it to be a tedious chore, the value of doing some much-needed cleaning is undeniable.

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your house or commercial building(s) is just as important as regularly checking and maintaining your car.  For example, if your vehicle has a problem and you don’t get it fixed immediately, the problem can get worse and end up costing you much more than the original repair.

The same thing goes for your home or commercial building.  Cleaning up and doing minor maintenance work keeps it in good shape and protects you from future costs, like insurance claims.

In this article, we’ll go over some cleaning and maintenance tips to prevent insurance claims.

Personal Properties

Clean out dryer vents.  You may be on top of cleaning out your lint trap, but that doesn’t mean you can say the same for your dryer vent.  Lint builds up in dryer vents over time and can make your dryer less efficient and put you at greater risk for house fires.  Once a year, inspect your dryer vent and clean it out to avoid fire claims and keep your dryer running efficiently.

Replace smoke detector batteries.  Speaking of fires, another way to avoid fire claims and keep your home and your family safe is to replace your smoke detector batteries.  Also, most smoke detectors have an expiration date.  Make sure you aren’t beyond that date.

Inspect your fire extinguisher.  In the case that you do have a fire, you’ll be happy that your fire extinguisher is in good working condition.  Check your fire extinguisher to make sure that the gauge is in green and that the hose and nozzle are in good shape.

Inspect the kitchen and bathroom caulk.  While you’re cleaning out your kitchen and bathroom, take a few minutes to check the caulk between the tiles.  Caulk deteriorates over time and can lead to leaks if it is not properly maintained.  To prevent water damage claims, re-caulk any areas that seem to be deteriorating or cracking.

Check the driveway and walkway.  While cracks in your driveway and walkway may seem natural and innocuous, cracks and uneven surfaces can lead to falls and injuries.  To avoid liability claims, fill any cracks and pull up any weeds.  Weeds can worsen damage to your driveway and walkways and make cracks even bigger.

Clean the gutters.  While cleaning the gutters may seem like a job for the late fall after most of the leaves have fallen, it’s important to clean your gutters and downspouts during the spring too.  Debris built up from the winter and spring storms can clog your gutters and downspouts, so doing a quick cleaning in the spring is important.  This will help prevent home insurance claims related to damage to the foundation, rotting wood, insect infestation, and leaks. 

Perform a roof inspection.  While you’re cleaning out the gutters, you should do a quick roof inspection as well.  Check for water or ice dam damage or additional built-up debris, especially around your skylights, if you have them.  Remove any debris and make repairs to your roof to prevent leaks and further home insurance claims.

Check the deck and porch.  Check out your porch and deck for loose boards and rotting wood.  Also, look out for any loose or exposed nails and unsecured railings that are unsafe.

Check lawn equipment.  Making sure your lawn equipment, like lawnmowers, tractors, and weed whackers, are in good working shape will help prevent injuries and extend the life of your equipment. 

Commercial Properties

Whether you own an office or a warehouse or rent out properties, commercial inspections are critical to avoid expensive insurance claims and keep yourself and your employees safe.  You should follow the tips listed above for personal residences (if they apply), especially checking fire extinguishers, inspecting the roof, replacing smoke detectors, and making sure the driveways and walkways are safe. 

Below are some additional tips you should follow to make sure the workplace is safe and adequately maintained.

Examine wiring.  Pests can damage electrical wiring, causing the wires to detach or fray and possibly cause a fire.  Schedule a visit from an electrician to check all of the wiring to avoid any fire claims.

Replace air filters.  Every good workspace has an HVAC system that regulates the air temperature and keeps the workplace well ventilated.  During the winter, you may have your heater running 24/7 and air conditioning running through the summer.  This can quickly use up your air filters in your HVAC system, be sure to replace them at least once a year.  This will extend the life of your HVAC system while also providing you and your employees with fresher, filtered air.

Inspect windows and doors.  Inspect the seams and caulk around windows and doors to make sure they are in good condition.  Cracks in doors and windows can lead to moisture getting in and causing damage. Plus, poor insulation means that your HVAC system has to work harder to heat and cool the space, giving you a higher electricity bill.

Clean windows.  After winter, there is a good chance your windows could use a cleaning.  Watermarks and debris can cause windows to fog up and become dirty, blocking out light.  Wash all of your windows so that they stay clean and let in more light.  Damp, dark areas can lead to mold growth.

Check drainage.  Winter and spring storms can clog your drainage.  Check out all of your drainage systems on your property to ensure they are clear.  Doing this will prevent any insurance claims if there is flooding that could have been prevented with a working drain.

Conduct tree trimming and pruning.  Trimming trees and pruning bushes makes the property look nicer and protects you against insurance claims.  Trim trees and prune bushes to prevent property damage and risk of injury.

Invite your contractor over for an inspection.  While keeping your building in tip-top shape can help prevent any loss due to insurance claims, sometimes property owners or managers are too busy or feel that inspections are better handled by a professional.  Invite a contractor for an inspection and perform any needed maintenance work, and he/she may have a keener eye for what needs to be fixed.  If you want to save some money but still have them do a thorough inspection, you can always take on some of the smaller jobs after they’ve identified what needs to be fixed.

Clean!  Throughout the year, carpets and floors become dusty and dirty, even if they may not appear to be.  Restrooms need a thorough cleaning and possibly maintenance, and workspaces may need to be scrubbed and washed.


Whether you own a home, a rental property, or a commercial building, cleaning is an important task.

While cleaning does require some time out of your schedule and possibly some money for repairs, supplies, or services, inspecting, cleaning, and repairing.  It can save you thousands of dollars in insurance claims.  Plus, some maintenance issues can cause health or safety problems, meaning that fixing them provides a healthier and safer place for everyone, free of liability issues.

We hope the above cleaning and maintenance tips help to prevent insurance claims.  If you have any questions about how you can avoid unnecessary claims and want excellent service from trusted insurance agents, reach out to us here at Otterstedt Insurance agency.

Our friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced agents can answer any of your questions and get you on the right insurance policy that fits you and your needs. Call us today at 201-227-1800!

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