Improvement That Could Void The Warranty Of Your Home – Forbes Home

1. HVAC System

If your HVAC system is on the fritz, you may be tempted to diagnose and fix the problem yourself. However, check the details of your home warranty because you may be required to have the system evaluated and repaired by a licensed contractor. Even if the issue seems like an easy fix, it could end up being a very costly mistake in the future.

Also, some home warranties require you to register your HVAC system within a certain amount of time to stay valid. Usually you can register the system online in just a few minutes. Check this task off your to-do list to prevent any warranty issues. While you are at it, set up recurring system checks with a professional. Again, some policies require annual maintenance by a licensed contractor to keep the policy valid.

2. Gutters

It’s a dirty job, but you’ll be required to clean the debris and leaves from the gutters and downspouts on your home each season. If you don’t, your gutters may become damaged and rip off from your home. This type of damage will not be covered under your home warranty because you were responsible for maintaining the gutters.

Other reasons the warranty could be void–if you paint the gutters, they are installed by someone who is not a professional or you attach certain types of gutter guards. Again, check your individual policy to confirm the expectations and maintenance for your gutters.

3. Roofing

Completely replacing your roof is a major home improvement project, but if you have a few spots on your roof that could use new shingles–instead of climbing a ladder and tackling this issue yourself–refer to your policy first. Again, you may be required to show the home warranty company that a licensed contractor completed the job.

Also, before adding anything to your roof–solar panels, a sky light, or a satellite dish– contact your warranty company to get approval or find out the steps you’ll need to take to ensure the addions don’t void the warranty.

4. Appliances

There’s never a good time for an appliance in your home to break. From unauthorized repairs and installation, painting the appliance, or using the wrong cleaning supplies, don’t make matters worse by invalidating your home warranty.

Your claim could be denied and your warranty found invalid if you fail to report damage in a timely manner. The best plan of action is to carefully follow the requirements of your home warranty so you can quickly get your appliances fixed.

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5. Garage Door

If you are handy and looking for an easy DIY project, you may try installing a new garage door opener. However, without a professional completing this task, the garage door opening mechanism will no longer be covered. Contact the company that installed your garage door and have them install the new door opener.

6. Windows

Adding after-market frosting or tinting products to your windows is a major no-no in the world of home warrientes. Even installing blinds or window locks could fall into this category–so double check your policy

The repeating theme with warranties is improperly installing or using, and the windows in your home fall into this category as well.

7. Carpet and Flooring

Not all stains and damage are created equal when it comes to your carpet and flooring. Some policies will cover pet urine damage, but some may not. Other types of stains–food, wine or mud and dirt–will not be covered because they fall under the category of normal wear and tear. However, excessive wear and tear could void the warranty as could moisture damage and improper installation.

Thinking of having your carpets professionally cleaned? Check to see if you need to use recommended vendors and cleaning supplies for this process.

8. Siding and Exterior Paint

Installing siding onto your home or touching up the exterior paint–even if it’s just a small section– can void the warranty. You don’t want to go through paying the expense of new vinyl siding installation and high quality paint only to find out that when you need to use the warranty, it is not valid anymore.

Poor maintenance of your siding, as well as most parts of the exterior of your home, could also be the cause of a voided warranty. If you see an issue with the siding, take the necessary steps to have the problem addressed.

9. Plumbing

If you’re looking to give the showerhead in your bathroom an upgrade, or want to add a bidet to your home, any changes you make to the original plumbing could void the warranty. However, if a professional does the install and you have the correct paperwork for the home warranty company, these changes can be done without disrupting your warranty.

10. Concrete

When winter arrives, don’t throw salt onto your concrete driveways and sidewalks to melt the ice. Since salt can damage the concrete and speed up the breakdown process, you’ll void your warranty. Be sure to apply a sealant each year to the concrete, and in the colder months, use de-icing products labeled safe for concrete.

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