Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Include Home Protection in Your Remodeling Plans

There is more to home remodeling than giving the house a makeover and adding new features together with creature comforts. These are the main considerations, of course, but overlooking the protection of your renovated home could be a big mistake, one that may lead to massive financial loss. You have your home insurance policy, but that will not cover all your expenses if your home is damaged or destroyed. And then there are the hassles of repairing or rebuilding it, which are too many to list. That is why building in protection as part of the remodel is so important. Here are some factors to keep in mind when doing the planning.

Fire Protection

  • Wherever possible, install a full residential sprinkler system with a water flow alarm. Ensure that the system is checked annually to keep it in working condition.
  • Replace existing smoke or heat detectors with multi-criteria systems that detect combustible gases, carbon monoxide, smoke and heat. This will significantly increase the level of protection.
  • Install centrally monitored fire detection units in areas where the fire risk is the greatest – attics, garages, kitchens, laundry rooms and other similar places.
  • Where water based latex paint, stains, and polyurethane / acrylic coatings have been used, use fire retardant additives to reduce the fire risk.
  • A whole house surge protection system will protect electronic equipment from damage if there is power fluctuation or surging.

Protection from Water Damage

  • To prevent major water damage install a whole house automatic shutoff system which will detect and turn off water if the flow is excessive or if water is collecting in the wrong places.
  • Water leaks commonly occur below HVAC units, skylights, terrace doors, washers, sinks and wherever, other such appliances, are installed. Installing moisture detection devices at these points will provide an immediate alert of a leak, when it is detected.
  • Replace rubber hoses at water supply points for washing machines, dishwashers, sinks, toilets and so on with steel braided hoses which are less prone to damage, leaks and failure. All hoses should be replaced every 5 years or as advised by the manufacturer.
  • Install floor drains in the laundry room and other places where there are water connections to carry away water in case of pipe or tank failure.
  • Protect yourself from equipment damage by installing point-of-use water shutoff systems at the water supply points for HVAC units and similar devices.
  • Install the washing machine at the lowest level to minimize damage if a major leak occurs.
  • Install a sump pump of the right size, to remove water that may enter the basement after heavy rains.
  • An automatic backup generator will ensure that all protection devices and equipment will function, in the event of a power outage.

Factoring in these changes as a part of remodeling your home may increase the cost, but the peace of mind that follows, makes it worthwhile. Talk to your remodeling contractor about the many options available. In addition, it is possible that having theseproactive measures in place, could result in a reduction on your insurance premiums. To know more about how safety features can reduce your insurance costs, contact your insurance broker.

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