Let's go through some of the key preventative measures you can enact to prepare your home for winter.
The very same steps you need to take to keep your heating costs down can also be viewed as protective for your home's structure and systems. The following steps can help to boost your home's efficiency and protect it from common damages associated with winter weather:
- Bring in a professional service provider to prepare your air conditioner, water, fuel, vent and all other systems and pipes.
- Consider replacing normal doors and windows with storm-proof products.
- Get your furnace serviced, and change out filters that were used last winter.
Roof and drainage
To prevent flooding both in the home and outside, you will need to prep your roof and irrigation system. Here are a few tips:
- Cleaning and removal: Clear all gutters of leaves and other debris before the first snowfall. Remove snow from the roof during times of very heavy precipitation.
- Ice dams: If you have a sloped roof, ice dams can be an issue. Consider putting ice melt products that contain calcium chloride into a porous material, such as a stocking, and placing it on ice dams for safe, easy removal.
- Avoid floods: Always make sure the roof’s drain pipes are pointed away from the house, and that your irrigation system and lawn have been winterized to avoid damage from the increased precipitation.
Frozen pipes can lead to massive expenses and damages. Consider wrapping all exposed pipes and plumbing with insulation. You will need to keep your valves and taps open to prevent water from staying in the pipes, which can lead to freezing and expansion, followed swiftly by cracks and damage.
Even when you are not home, the home's temperature should be warm enough to prevent freezing of any kind. This can be trickier for pipes that are outside or in parts of the home that do not have access to heat. When temperatures dip below freezing, keep your water dripping in sinks and other faucets to further prevent freezing and bursting in the pipes and plumbing. If you do find yourself in a situation where your pipes do freeze, learn how you can safely unfreeze them here.
Get the right coverage
Make sure that your insurance provides the coverage you need for your home this winter. Winter involves more precipitation in the Northeast, which could lead to flooding - a threat that is not generally covered by homeowners insurance. Speak to your independent agent to ensure all of your assets throughout the home, as well as the structure itself, are protected by your insurance coverage before the harsh weather sets in.