BOISE - After a harsh winter full of frozen pipes and ice dams on roofs, it's time to do some spring cleaning.
"If you can do some simple home maintenance or hire a licensed and bonded contractor to do some minor repairs that could save you a lot of money later," said Kenton Brine with NW Insurance Council.
You can start with keeping your bushes trimmed.
"This is an outside clean-out for your sewer and as you can see this bush is outgrowing it a little bit," said Dan Widdison with Cloverdale Plumbing.
If your sewer drainage gets backed up, you'll need a plumber.
"So it's a good idea to trim the bushes back so there's good access to that," Widdison said.
For the "Green Thumbs," if you're planning on planting a bush or a tree in that area, you might want to re-think it.
"The roots can grow down and compromise the drain line," Widdison said. "We've seen drain lines crushed. If there's any kind of opening the roots can go in, and once they get in they just keep growing and then you have big issues."
Widdison says it's best to call a local plumber and have them do what's called a camera inspection so they can determine where you can, and can't, plant.
Another place to look: your hose faucet.
"Sometimes you'll see water trickling down low, coming out between the siding and the foundation," Widdison said. "If you leave the hose on, the water doesn't drain out and it'll freeze and it'll bulge the inside."
When you go to turn the water on in the spring, you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise.
"It'll spray in the crawlspace, or if it's up a little higher it'll go into a wall and flood out your house," Widdison said.
Usually, Widdison says, you won't know until it's too late and what started out as a simple precaution during the winter could end up costing you big bucks months later.
"That may be a repair that you'll have to pay for yourself," said Brine. "Sometimes the insurance won't cover that damage if it's something you could've foreseen or fixed yourself through simple maintenance."
Officials say there are several things you can do yourself to prevent wear and tear on your home.
Brine says some of the items on the to-do list are to check and clean gutters, check your roof for worn or missing shingles, make sure sprinkler heads are directed away from the house to prevent water build-up, and caulk and reseal window and door flashing.
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