CBIZ INNKEEPERS INSURANCE BLOG

Insights and liability tips on how to protect your inn or bed & breakfast, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
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Summer Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future Claims

Tools laying on deck for inn maintenance

The birds are chirping, the grass is greener, the days are longer and the weather is warming up. Summer is bringing a sense of relief and a boost of serotonin. As you gear up for your busy season or prepare for your off-season, take the time to review these maintenance recommendations to avoid unwelcome surprises.

Outdoor Maintenance Ideas for Your Inn

Inspect the Roof, Gutters & Chimney

Repair any damage caused by snow or ice to prevent leaks during storms. It is still a good time to investigate your roof for missing or damaged shingles and signs of leaks or cracks.

Regularly check and clear debris from your gutters and downspouts. This will prevent water overflow and reduce the risk of water damage. Make sure your downspouts face away from your inn to keep water flowing away from the foundation.

Investigate your chimney’s exterior for signs of damage. Hire a certified chimney sweep to clean the flue and inspect for problems. Even if you aren’t regularly utilizing your fireplace, an annual inspection can ensure the flue is clear and sound to prevent unnecessary fire risks.

Service the Air Conditioning Unit

Schedule a professional tune-up to keep your system at peak performance. A qualified technician can check your system’s efficiency and coolant levels to address any potential concerns before the extreme heat comes with the summer months. In addition, have them look over your ductwork and vents to ensure there are no blockages.

Assess Hardscaped Materials

The continual freezing and thawing of winter can cause cracks and water to seep through your inn’s hardscaped materials (e.g., concrete, asphalt). Survey the driveway and other hardscape materials for cracks or movement and patch them quickly to prevent future damage. Replace concrete cracks in walkways and drivable areas that are beyond repair to prevent accidents and injuries.

Repair & Reseal Woodwork

Wood decks, rails, fences, trellises, pergolas and other wood structures are prone to decay and rot. Examine your wooden features for warp, stains or discoloration. Repair damaged panels or replace planks that are beyond saving. Use a power washer to clean your decking and treat it with exterior wood oil to preserve the wood. These structures will last longer and stay in better condition when resealed or stained each year.

Look for Termites

Spring and summer are the prime time for termites to begin to tear through your inn’s wooden structures. If you haven’t already scheduled a routine treatment for your inn, call a licensed pest control professional.

Run Outdoor Faucets & Irrigation Systems

Test outside faucets for damage by letting them run. Turn the water on and place your finger over the opening. If the flow of water stops, you may need to call a professional to inspect your pipes.

Your irrigation system can also take a beating during the cooler months. Perform a test run of your sprinkler system to check for leaks or malfunctioning sprinkler heads. Manually run the system through all its zones to look for broken or damaged heads or if they need to be adjusted away from the road or your inn.

Indoor Maintenance Suggestions for Your Inn

Prevent Water Damage

Many policies have exemptions for water damage, so prevention is important. Check all connecting pipes and hoses of water appliances (e.g., dishwasher, water heater, sinks, toilets, laundry) for cracks and leaks. If you see any water or signs of rust around the water heater, call a professional to inspect it. These small leaks and signs of rust could eventually cause sediment buildup and future problems.

Check the A/C & Clean the Furnace

Don’t wait to test if your air conditioning unit’s thermostat works properly. This is also a good time to change out filters. As it has worked hard all winter, have your furnace’s filter system, blower and motor professionally cleaned.

Look for Leaks & Mold

Attics and basements that smell or feel musty are signs that water has made its way inside. Inspect the walls, ceiling, insulation and drywall for signs of water stains and mold. A professional can repair cracks and leaks and remove any dangerous mold that has developed. 

Check Your Detectors

Smoke and CO2 detectors can save your life and your guests’ lives in an emergency. These devices need routine maintenance to perform their jobs. Make sure to test and change the batteries. Also, check the date stamp on the back of your detectors as most only last 10 years.

Summer of Fun with CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance

Take time this summer to partner with your insurance advisor to review your innkeeper’s insurance policy. This will help to ensure you are adequately covered should an unexpected disaster occur. To learn more about protecting your business through CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance, connect with a member of our team.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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