Although I hate to say it, winter is coming. It is hard to believe tomorrow is the first day of fall. November 4, we turn the clocks back. The only saving grace here is we gain an hour sleep. Unfortunately, December 21st will be upon us which is officially the first day of winter. Mother Nature doesn’t usually abide by the calendar so now is a good time to prepare your home for snow, winter storms and extreme cold.
Put away outside furniture and toys: It is a good idea to put away these items before the snow and cold hits us. It will extend the life of your outdoor furniture and children’s play houses, toys etc.
Trim trees, shrubs and greenery: It is a good time to trim back the trees, shrubs, greenery and gardens so they are safely away from your home. This will hopefully prevent any trees or branches falling on your home due to weight of snow and ice. By trimming shrubs and greenery along the house it allows air to circulate and the snow and ice to melt rather than accumulate on the house or foundation.
Clean the gutters: Clearing out the leaves is crucial for the water to drain properly off the roof. If it doesn’t and freezes instead the weight of snow and ice on your roof may cause a collapse. Weight of snow and ice is usually a covered peril on your home policy but you are obligated to do what you can to prevent a loss from occurring in order for the claim to be paid.
Protect pipes from freezing: During extreme cold and winter storms, frozen pipes are a very common insurance claim and cost upwards of $5000 on average. Things you can do – don’t turn the heat down when you leave the home, wrap any exposed pipes, like under a mobile home for example with heat tape or foam sleeves (you can buy at a hardware store), fill in any holes or cracks with caulk, if your windows are drafty you can cover with clear plastic to help keep the heat in. If your pipes freeze, call a contractor. NEVER, EVER, use and open flame to thaw pipes. If you must, hair dryer’s are safer options.
Create an emergency kit: Things to keep in your kit, canned goods, gallons of drinkable water, batteries, portable radio (battery operated), flashlights, bread, etc. I keep one in the car as well (minus the food) and replace that with blankets & a flare!
This certainly isn’t an all – inclusive list of items but these are some of the biggies. You can read more about staying safe this winter on the ready.gov website.
Some situations, no matter how hard we try are not preventable. So if something happens to your home, auto or personal belongings during the winter, from weight of snow and ice, or extreme cold, contact us so we can talk you through whatever the situation might be.