Spring in New England can be a fickle time, warm, sunny weather one day, and cold, wind driven rain the next. Those warm spring days are the perfect time to tidy up your yard, and those rainy ones are a great time to do some indoor spring cleaning and maintenance.

You may be wondering why an insurance blog is talking about Spring cleaning. The bottom line is well maintained property can reduce your chances of a having to file a claim-whether for damages to your property or for someone who has been injured on your property.

Here are a few tips for reducing your risk of a homeowners claim.

*Clean out your dryer vent.

This one really should go without saying-but each year, there are approximately 2,900 fires home clothes dryer fires. Cleaning out your vent once a year can help reduce your chances of being one of those fires.  You might even find some goodies-maybe some change!

*Your outdoor faucets need some love.

Give your outdoor spigots a once over to check for cracks or leaks. Besides wasting water and costing you money, you could see damage to the foundation of your home, resulting in water backing up into your home or mold and mildew growing.

*Driveways and Walkways.

Repair any cracks, loose patio stones and uneven surfaces. This will help keep the walking surfaces around your home flat, and help to prevent any falls. There are a lot more people that come on to your property than you think-neighbors, delivery personal, friends and family. You don’t want to end that summer BBQ early to head to the ER for stitches for someone who tripped over a brick.

*Your roof/gutters-they want a visit from you.

Look for any loose shingles, sticks and branches and clean out your gutters. Checking on your roof can prevent roof leaks from damage caused by loose shingles or can show you damage caused by pesky critters over the winter.

*Trees trees and trees.

Take a look around at your trees, checking them for rot or damage. Dead limbs or diseased trees can easily do a lot of damage to property. Keep healthy trees and bushes away from utility wires and from overhanging your property. Hire a professional if you need to remove any larger limbs or take down a tree.

*Clean or change your HVAC filter.

Yes, it should be done more than once a year, but add it to your list now. Having a clean filter will help your HVAC system run better, and will prolong the life of your system. Plus, Pollen. Amirite?

*Your Yard needs you also.

Clean up the piles of leaves, the stacks of sticks and the leftover debris from last year. Ticks. Mice. Voles. Moles. They all love those leave piles. *Shudder*

*Check those railings!

Things loosen up during the cold weather-check the railings on your stairways and decks to make sure they are secure. The last thing you want is Aunt Susie falling off the side of the deck.

Maintaining your property can be cumbersome, but it will help reduce your chances of a homeowners claim, which can keep your premiums down. So the next time you are out and about in your yard enjoying the sunshine, take a look around and see what you can do to minimize your hazards, and as always,  We’re here for You!