As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, homeowners must take steps to protect their property and their families. Winter conditions can be harsh and dangerous, and may even have consequences beyond your physical safety, including the financial ramifications of higher energy bills and weather-related property damage.
7 Steps to Protect Your Home in Winter
There are many ways to prepare your home for the winter months and limit your risks and exposures. Consider the following steps:
1. Stop drafts. Help stop cold air from entering your home and keep warm air inside by installing weather stripping and repairing caulking around doors and windows. Insulate your walls while checking for cracks.
2. Check heating systems. Have your furnace and chimney checked by a qualified professional and ensure your fireplace and vents are cleaned thoroughly and free of debris.
3. Protect pipes. Insulate indoor plumbing and leave outdoor faucets dripping slightly to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
4. Stop slippery surfaces. Maintain an adequate supply of salt, ice melt or sand to melt ice and snow and provide traction on outdoor surfaces. Use mats and boot trays indoors to help prevent wet clothing from creating hazards.
5. Maintain your roof. Check your attic and roof for any cracks or potential water leaks. Clear ice, snow and debris, such as leaves, from your roof and gutters in a timely manner to help prevent ice dams.
6. Trim trees. Remove any tree limbs hanging over your property that may be at risk of breaking during winter storms.
7. Acquire adequate insurance. Reassess your home insurance policy and make sure that you have suitable coverage that can protect you from winter-related damage.
Be Ready for Storms
Although winter may have many consistent issues that must be addressed, such as cold temperatures, storms can create even more problems. As a homeowner, you must be prepared for severe weather. Consider the following steps:
· Understand terminology. Visit the National Weather Service’s website and familiarize yourself with various winter weather- and cold weather-related terms as it pertains to advisories, watches and warnings.
· Monitor the forecast. Checking an app on your phone once a day may not be sufficient to maintain safety. Tune into a more extensive forecast multiple times a day and adhere to any warnings or orders from officials.
· Prepare emergency supplies. It’s possible that you may lose power or be snowed in, so make sure that you maintain an emergency kit that contains warm clothes, nonperishable food, water, a first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries, waterproof matches and a battery-powered radio.
· Bring pets indoors. Even if your pet has shelter outside in your yard, winter conditions may become too harsh for them to remain safe.
Stay Warm and Safe
Regardless of implementing precautions and being prepared, even the most diligent and prepared homeowners may not always be able to prevent winter-related damage. That’s where we come in. At Chichester Insurance Agency keeping families and homes in the Blythewood area safe is an integral part of our mission. We will work with you to analyze your home insurance needs and ensure that you have adequate coverage.
Visit our website or call 1-803-786-2224 to get started.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.