With the winter months looming it is a great time to start preparing homes for the cold months that lie ahead!  Implementing these suggestions can not only help avoid common winter related home insurance claims but more importantly keep your family safer during the winter season!

Winter Home prep

Winterize your pipes.  Foam pipe sleeves or heating cables are great ways to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting from frigid temperatures that come during winter cold spells. It is equally as important to disconnect all garden hoses, drain water left in outdoor faucets and shut off valves to outdoor water sources including lawn irrigation systems.

Prepare for unexpected power outages.  Winter snowstorms and blizzards that include heavy snow, ice and winds can interrupt power supplies and be especially dangerous during freezing temperatures.  Generators provide a great way to maintain power during outages to keep heaters and lights in your home active until power is restored.  It’s important to safely use generators so they are away from the entrance of your home to avoid carbon emitted gases from entering your home and creating a serious health risk to you and your family.  Regardless of whether or not you own a generator, it is also recommended to have plenty of warm clothing and blankets close by with a good amount of non-perishable food items and bottled water.  If you have a fireplace or wood stove, it is important to have dry wood ready to burn.  Wet and unseasoned wood will not burn safely and can cause unwanted smoke in your home.

Prevent icicles and ice dams.  Preventing ice dams is essential to avoid leaks in your home that lead to countless insurance claims each winter.  Icicles are an indicator that there could be an ice dam in your gutter. Carefully remove icicles and use a roof rake to clear off as much snow as possible. It’s important to practice the activities with caution and care when clearing snow and ice from roofs.   Prevention is key.  Waiting too long to remove snow may cause it to melt during warmer temperatures which may end up sneaking under roof shingles if ice damns form and keep water from properly flowing into gutters.

Keep driveways and walkways clear.  No explanation needed here!  We want to make it safe for everyone coming and going from homes.  Clear driveways and sidewalks in a timely manner, and use ice melters to keep black ice from forming.  Slip and falls can not only hurt but can be the reason for an unwanted insurance claim!

With a little care and caution we can all do our part to prevent some of these mishaps from happening over the winter months and keep our homes and families safe this winter!