Winter Home Tips
Frigid temperatures, snow, and ice can cause considerable damage on homes and create serious liability risks. Usually, standard homeowner’s policies will cover most damages that result from a freeze. But, if you can be proactive to minimize the potential risk, it would be a good idea.
Outside the home
Even though snow can look so fluffy and innocent, the weight of the snow could damage the roof of your home. Also watch out, backed-up gutters might allow water to seep into the home.
- Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free from snow and ice. It will help prevent slips and falls.
- Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into the home. Make sure gutters are cleared of leaves and debris to allow runoff from melting snow and ice to flow freely.
- If you have a pool, run your swimming pool pump at night when the temps are expected to go below freezing. This will help keep the water flowing through the pipes.
- Keep your garage doors closed. First will help prevent weather damage to the interior and contents of the garage. Secondly, it will help keep more heat in.
- Keep an eye out for dead or damaged tree branches and have them removed accordingly. Trees can be affected by wind, snow, or ice.
Inside the Home
- The house should stay heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The pipes are located inside the walls and can be substantially colder than the walls. The pipes can freeze if the temperature is kept lower than 65 degrees.
- Double check the location for the main shutoff in the home. Best to make sure you know/remember how to turn off the water.
- Open both hot and cold faucets enough to let it drip slowly. In freezing temperatures, keeping water moving inside the pipes help prevent freezing.
- If travelling during the winter season, have a trusted neighbor check on the home. Quick action could mean less damage in the event of a water loss.
If an Event Occurs
Damages can occur even to the most prepared. Don’t worry too much in case of events as quick action can minimize damage.
- Thaw frozen pipes. If your pipes become frozen, don’t wait. Frozen pipes can burst. Best to thaw them immediately or call a plumber.
- If the pipes do burst, turn off the water. Good thing you double checked! Cut off the water flow and then attend to the damage.
- Properly dry (mitigate) and repair any water damage. You don’t want mold. Mold is problems.
- Call your insurance agent right away!!!