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How To Protect Your Home This Winter

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

It’s that time a year again, winter is here. It’s time to unpack your snow boots from the attic, put your snow tires on, winterize your home and make sure you’ve got the best homeowners insurance for the season ahead. The task of preparing your home for winter can sometimes seem daunting but it is worth the time and energy to get it right before disaster strikes. From your roof collapsing from heavy snow to freezing pipes, we are here to not only make sure you are covered during the stressful events but to also provide you these important tips on how to minimize the likelihood of potential damage to your home in the first place.

House Fires

You just had a long day outside putting up your Christmas lights, what’s next? A roaring fire in the living room of course! There is nothing better than a warm fire during those cold winter days but always remember, safety first! The dry winter air paired with an increase in fireplace and heater usage can put your home in danger of house fires if you’re not careful. Fires can leave you with thousands of dollars in repairs, protect your home with these tips so you don’t end up like the Griswold’s!

  • If you are one of those lucky few with a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you get that beauty’s chimney cleaned before you start using it for the season. Be sure you also have a spark arrester.
  • Keep combustible items away from all heat sources – fireplace, stoves, space heaters, even your curling iron.
  • If using a space heater, be sure you keep it three feet away from anything that can burn like rugs or clothing. It is also recommended that you never leave a space heater unattended this includes leaving it on while you are sleeping. 
  • Who doesn’t love a good pine-scented candle during those winter months? Burn them all you want this season but be sure they are out of reach of children or pets and of course, never leave candles unattended.

Frozen Pipes

The dreaded frozen pipes. Every homeowner’s worst nightmare. The last thing you want during a cold winter day is to discover your water has stopped running or worse, your pipes have exploded. No fear, there are ways to prevent this from becoming your reality this year.

  • Before the temperature drops, be sure you address any leaks or cracks in your pipes and get the repairs prioritized.
  • In case of an emergency, make sure you know how to turn your water off if needed. Turning your pipes off can prevent your frozen pipes from bursting.
  • Install additional insulation to pipes as needed. This is usually in areas that are unheated like the garage or attic.
  • Keep your house at 65 degrees or higher at all times.
  • Drain and disconnect all sprinklers and hoses in your yard.
ice dam roof

Ice Dams

Icicles are one of the many beautiful signs of winter that you see on holiday cards around the country. In reality, if your house develops icicles you’ve most likely got an ice dam on your hands and that’s not good news. So, what exactly is an ice dam? An ice dam is when ice backs up in your gutters and freezes thus preventing water from draining off your roof. This can cause severe damage, not only your roof and gutters but it can potentially leak into your home damaging ceilings, walls, floors and more. Unfortunately, many people experience ice dams in the winter but there are a few things you can do in an attempt to minimize the damage.

  • Ice dams form because the heat of your home is melting the snow or ice off your roof, so it’s important to keep your roof as cool as possible. Head up to your attic and close off any air leaks that may be releasing heat from your house into the attic.
  • If you can’t keep your roof cool, you can install an ice barrier or heated cables to prevent the ice from forming.
  • Rake the snow off your roof after heavy snow or hire a professional to do so for you.

Roof Failure

In addition to ice dams, many homeowners fear a roof collapse from the heavy snow and ice. Don’t wait until the snow piles up on your roof and you find yourself wondering if your homeowner’s insurance covers snow damage and if so, what’s the weight of snow and ice-covered? Instead, put your mind at ease by working with us to make sure you get the best coverage for your home and prepare your roof for the season with these simple tips.

  • If you haven’t already, hire a professional to check the stability of your roof well before the winter months start. Better safe than sorry.
  • Rake the snow off your roof regularly or hire a professional to do so.
  • Inspect your gutters to ensure they are firmly attached to the house and are cleared of leaves.
winter roof

Wind Damage

Like ice and snow, wind can also cause some serious damage to your home and your wallet. If you are concerned about wind damage, in addition to recommending you take the below necessary precautions, we can also make sure you are set up with the best wind coverage for your situation.

  • Ensure all loose shingles, gutters, shutters, and other roofing or siding materials are secured.
  • Trim all dead or dangerous trees or branches close to your home or power lines.
  • Stowaway all of your outdoor furniture and toys until summer.

We hope these tips relieve some of your stress this season. As you prepare your home for the change in weather, it’s also important to be sure you are set up with the best homeowners insurance for your situation prior to an accident occurring. Connect with one of our agents today to discuss your homeowners’ insurance needs and make sure you feel safe this winter season.