Owning a home is usually a great experience. Yet it can also be a hassle, especially when unexpected issues pop up. Whether it’s a minor breakdown or a major catastrophe, it’s almost certainly going to take time and money to fix. Preparing your home for winter through routine maintenance can help you avoid unexpected issues, especially in the colder and wet months of winter. If you’re a homeowner or a tenant who is responsible for a certain level of upkeep, it’s a good idea to do what you can to avoid cold weather issues like frozen pipes or a furnace failure.
Before Settling in for the Winter
Dropping temperatures can pose certain risks to your home if not maintained properly. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) published a winter ready checklist for homeowners on what they can do to prepare their home for the winter. Here are 5 of their suggestions:
Check Your Pipes.
Every year, about 16 percent of insured homes will file a claim with their insurance due to property damage caused by water or freezing, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That is only for people who filed a claim. Countless others may not file a claim and handle the repair costs completely out-of-pocket.
The IBHS recommends insulating your pipes in areas like crawl spaces, attics, and along exterior walls. Weatherstripping around windows and doors can help too by assisting with sealing in the heat and preventing drafts.
Have your boiler, furnace, chimney, or other heating sources professionally serviced.
An HVAC professional can inspect your equipment for any issues and make sure your heating system is working properly. They may change air filters and make sure the ventilation is working properly for any exhaust gases.
A chimney sweep can help stop the build-up of carbon monoxide and help prevent fires as well as making sure the chimney is free of any residual debris.
Inspect your gutters.
Remove any fall leaves or other items clogging your gutters. A backed-up gutter can cause water to back-up, or it can weigh down your gutters, which could pose risks if there is heavy snowfall or ice. Also check that the gutter system is completely intact and route downspouts away from your home (3-4 feet away at minimum) to avoid ice or water pooling next to your house.
Check trees on your property.
Are there any branches growing too close to the house which could cause damage if it fell? Are any trees dead? Make sure limbs and branches are not overhanging or brushed up against your home. Keep everything trimmed.
Prepare for a major winter event.
Consider investing in a back-up generator (portable or permanent) or servicing it if you have one already. Stock up with shovels and other equipment or products you may need such as deicing products, firewood, and extra water.
Your home is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, so it pays to be diligent about caring for it. Winter can be a dangerous time of year. From safely hanging holiday lights to extreme weather conditions, taking precautions and conducting regular maintenance can help ensure your home and family will stay safe this season.
Are you a homeowner or renter looking for insurance coverage? Give our licensed agents a call today at (844) 358-5605 or send us a message to get homeowners or renters insurance coverage that can help give you peace of mind year-round.
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