Penn. Commissioner: Spring Cleaning Good Time for Preventative Home Maintenance

April 24, 2013

Homeowners starting their spring cleaning projects should also give a thought to insurance too, Pennsylvania regulators advised.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department recommends taking the time for minor fixes now, to save homeowner insurance claims later.

“Making sure things are in good working order this spring can make a big difference in home safety, as well as insurance matters,” said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine.

“One of the most commonly overlooked areas during spring cleaning is behind your washer and dryer. Lint can escape a poorly-connected dryer filter hose and build up against the wall, causing a fire hazard. Household appliance fires are one of the most common reasons given for homeowner insurance claims,” Commissioner Consedine said.

The insurance department said other homeowner damage and claims can be prevented with these simple tips:

• Kitchen fires – The majority of fires begin in the kitchen due to food left unattended on the stove or the ignition of built-up grease. Thoroughly clean the oven and stove top.

• Fireplace ashes – After cleaning out the fireplace, don’t discard ashes in a combustible container and don’t store them in, or around, the house or garage. Store discarded ashes away from your home and be sure you have poured water into the container so that any remaining embers are extinguished.

• Washing machine hose – Check the washing machine hoses for dry rot, cracking and tightening. Hoses should be replaced every few years. Water to the unit should be turned off when not in use.

• Refrigerator ice maker line – Check lines annually since they can become pinched and start to leak, causing damage to flooring and cabinets.

• Sinks and toilet valves – As your home ages, regularly check all plumbing fixtures and connections. Look for corrosion and rust around valves. If your home is more than 20 years old, consider having a plumber check and replace all connections and hoses.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department offers additional spring insurance tips on its website at

Topics Homeowners Pennsylvania

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