As winter approaches, it’s easy to forgo home maintenance and want to put it off until spring. What you might not realize, though, is that procrastinating on winter-proofing your home (or ignoring it altogether) can cause expensive property damage—and those insurance claims are more common than you think!
For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure your home is winter-ready and will remain in good condition over the cold season. Fortunately, winterizing your home is a lot like preparing for a storm. You need to be aware of what’s coming and prepare in advance. After all, you can’t close the door on winter weather—even living in the temperate South.
So for a winter season you can enjoy to the fullest, use these tips to keep your home safe and winter-ready all season long. Then, enjoy everything that comes with the cold weather—without having to worry about costly insurance claims.
#1. Avoid the Ice Dam
An ice dam is a sheet of ice that builds up along the edge of your roof, blocking meltwater from running down and away from the edge of your roof, which can cause water to back up and instead leak into your home.
There are many ways to prevent an ice dam from forming on your property, but the simplest is to clear snow and ice off the roof before it accumulates too much weight. Additionally, make sure you have the proper insulation in place and that there’s enough heat inside the house to warm your home from the inside out.
#2. Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
Probably the biggest challenge for most homeowners in the winter—even in the South—is freezing pipes, which can cause a lot of damage and costly repair if you’re not prepared to prevent them.
To get started, keep an eye on external or exposed pipes by wrapping them with insulation or heating tape and make sure any drainage spouts are clear of snow. Regularly check outdoor hoses and pipe connections for leaks, so there won’t be costly damage come springtime when warmer temperatures melt ice off walls, roofs, and other structures where the problem may not have been noticed previously.
Also, make sure you keep a faucet in your home dripping slightly any time below-freezing temperatures come calling—this will keep water moving through your system and help prevent the pipes from grinding to a frozen halt.
Finally—don’t forget your outdoor plumbing! Covering your pool pump will protect it from freezing when exposed; if water has already frozen around the pump, then drain water away first to avoid additional damage.
#3. Clearing the Walkways
When driving conditions get tough, homeowners should be extra cautious about moving around, and one easy way is by clearing the walkways and driveways of any buildup from snow or ice. Not only will this help your family (or friends, visitors or even postal workers) avoid slipping on the ice, but also help you avoid expensive insurance claims should a slip-and-fall happen.
To effectively—and easily—clear your walkways and driveways, simply use a shovel and broom to remove the snow, and sprinkle some salt down to prevent them from freezing over.
#4. Don’t Forget the Inside
It’s easy to consider the outdoor needs of your home when preparing for cold weather, but don’t forget the inside, too!
First, make sure smoke detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries installed—especially if you like the feel of a roaring fireplace during the cold snaps. While you’re at it, replace the air filter so your heat pump can work efficiently, and, if you need a little heating “boost” for your basement or other cold-prone areas, check out insulated curtains or even heated sub-flooring to maintain an even temperature.
From homeowner’s insurance to protect you from the worst that winter can throw your way—to an automotive policy that protects you from icy roads, Penny Insurance is here for you. We’d love to help you with any of your insurance needs – home, auto, life, business, equine, premium and more, so if you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your needs, please contact us and let us know.