With winter months comes inclement weather. Before winter blows in, it’s important to ready your home to withstand the harsh conditions. Making home maintenance a priority in the fall can help identify potential problems early, prepare your home and property, and reduce the chance of an insurance claim in the future.
Here are some home maintenance tips to help you prepare for the coming winter:
- Check your gutters for damage and make sure they’re secured to your house. Clean out gutters to keep debris (like falling leaves, sticks and ice) from accumulating. This can help prevent moisture build up and an ice dam from forming, which can damage your roof or siding.
- Check your eaves trough and downspouts for debris to allow for proper water drainage, preventing water from entering the foundation of your house and flooding your basement.
- Assess your roof for leaks and cracks, and check the seal around the chimney and skylights in order to be prepared for heavy snow. Call a professional for repairs.
- Trim tree limbs hanging over your house to avoid falling and damages during a storm. Contact a professional if your tree limbs are hanging over power lines.
- Store your grill, outdoor furniture and garden decorations to prevent damage from weathering a storm and to be sure they do not blow around and cause damage to your house.
- Disconnect your garden hose and shut off the water to outside in order to prevent freezing pipes.
- To avoid your pipes freezing, keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit and allow warm water to trickle from faucets overnight.
- Get your chimney cleaned by a professional before using your fireplace.
- Get your furnace or boiler system checked before you start using heat regularly.
- Clean the space behind your clothes dryer and remove lint or dust that may have accumulated inside. The cool, dry weather in the fall causes static electricity, creating a risk of sparking a fire. Inspect your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries as needed and make sure there’s a smoke detector on each floor of your home to be safe. Daylight savings is an ideal time to assess your detectors when turning your clocks back.
A little extra attention now can help safeguard your home all winter long. Be sure to contact your independent insurance agent to discuss home coverage options. The Hanover offers many added-value insurance options, including water backup and sump pump coverage, and siding or roof restoration that help protect you should winter take its toll on your home. Our Coverage Made Clear video series provides more details about these important coverage options.
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
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