Article

Eight tips to help you winterize your home

In 2019, more than $90 million in property damage was the result of winter weather’s icy touch.

Your home keeps you safe, so consider winterizing your home to return the favor and keep winter-related damage out of reach.

 

 

Get proactive when the temperature drops

1. Add weather stripping

By sealing gaps on your doors and windows you can avoid mold, mildew and water damage around your windows and doors.

2. Insulate pipes

Insulating your pipes will help prevent weather damage no matter what season. One in 50 insured homes have a water damage or freezing pipe claim every year, with an average claim for frozen pipes coming in at $10,849. Make sure you have the right water backup protection in place as well.  

3. Ready your roof

FEMA studies show that your roof is the most vulnerable part of your home to weather damage. The buildup of ice dams on your roof in the winter could cause melted snow to spill into your home. Keep the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves (part of the roof that overhangs) by making sure your attic is well ventilated and insulated.

4. Seal air leaks

Sealing air leaks in your home can help reduce energy costs in your home by about 20%. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to check for air leak problem areas and take action to help save money on those pesky leaks.

5. Clean gutters

If your gutters are clogged, the snow and ice will not drain properly when it melts, which can overflow the gutter, or even worse, weigh the gutter down and possibly detach from the house. Consider installing gutter guards in time for next winter as an added layer of protection.

6. Service your heat sources

Whether you have a furnace, boiler and/or chimney, get them serviced once a year to prevent smoke and fire damage. Changing the filter on your furnace prolongs its life and can save you money on your energy bill.

7. Tend to your trees

Branches are more vulnerable to break during the winter, as the wood hardens and becomes more brittle and susceptible to wind damage. In addition, snow and ice can accumulate on trees and branches, increasing the chances of damage to your home.

8. Check or install detectors

With a higher risk of fires in winter, make sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check them regularly to make sure they are working properly. Water and heat monitoring devices can help you detect a small issue before it becomes a big problem.

Next steps

The Hanover offers a broad portfolio of insurance solutions to help protect your home during the winter, spring, summer and fall, including protection against equipment breakdown and total account with waiver of deductible in case a tree falls on your home or garage and damages more than one asset. Contact your local insurance agent be sure you have the right protection in place.  

Sources:

Summary of Natural Hazard Statistics 2019
Insurance Information Institute
U.S. Department of Energy
Energy Star