No matter what part of the country you reside in – Northeast, Midwest, West and South – homeowners need to prepare for the yearly onslaught of winter weather across the country. Here are a few easy tips to consider when winterizing your home.
Frozen Water Pipes
For the Northeast and Midwest, one of the most common winter weather-related claims involves frozen pipes. The most critical measure to take to protect your pipes from freezing is proper maintenance of your heating system. Check for leaks and have the oil company clean the furnace and repair damaged parts.
Additionally, using insulating wrap wherever possible is an effective way to keep your pipes from rupturing. Specifically, it’s important to insulate pipes on the north or west sides of your home, as these will receive less sunlight and radiant heat, and pipes that are close to exterior walls. If your pipes do burst, the first thing you will want to do is turn off your water, so make sure you know where to locate the master water valve beforehand and label it.
In the West, winter claims due to fallen trees are very common. Take time to inspect the area surrounding your home to locate any potential tree hazards that may require maintenance. Red flags include dead trees, branches hanging over power lines, cracked tree trunks and mushrooms growing on the bottoms of trees. Contact your local tree service before the winter to handle pruning and removal.
Damage from hail is a major source of winter weather claims in the South, averaging about $10,000. If a window is damaged from hail, make sure you take the time to board the window to protect it until it’s repaired.
The winter is also a great time to ensure that you have enough home insurance to meet your needs.
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