Here in Idaho, we are approaching deep winter. This means a much higher risk of winter storms occurring. If your home gets damaged in a blizzard or other winter storm, then your homeowners insurance is likely to cover the necessary repairs. However, you still don’t want damage to happen in the first place. There are many liabilities that might beckon during winter storms, and it’s up to you to protect your property and family as best you can.
Here at Buck Group, we’re not only committed to insurance policy management, but also to customer security. We want to help you make your home as secure as possible this winter. Consider some of our recommendations for how you can prepare your home and make yourself safer during bad weather.
Step 1: Check Your Roof and Clean Out Your Gutters
If your roof has damage or has simply aged to the point of needing replacement, then you should make these repairs before the weather gets worse. Normal wear & tear is not covered by home insurance, and you also don’t want to face the risk of a roof collapse just because you didn’t take care of it.
Additionally, clean out all gutters around the home before precipitation. These might be gutters along your roofline, under your home, or drainage ditches that control runoff. If these are full of debris, then they might not let melting snow and ice runoff appropriately. This could expose your home to added damage, or even flooding risks.
Step 2: Clean and Test Your Heaters
All heaters are fire risks. Electric HVAC systems, fireplaces, space heaters and furnaces could all cause fires if they have flaws or are used inappropriately. Have these systems serviced before using them this year, and never place flammable objects near them.
Step 3: Reinforce Your Home’s Seals
As houses settle, the seals around doors, windows and the foundation might become misaligned or damaged. Not only could damaged seals let pests and moisture into the home, but they could also cause you to waste heat and energy because your home doesn’t properly trap it. Make sure your seals are still strong and call a technician if necessary.
Step 4: Wrap Your Pipes
If you have exposed pipes in your home, then these are at risk of freezing during very cold temperatures. The pipes might burst, damage your plumbing and even flood the home. Wrapping these pipes to keep them insulated and exposing them to warm air can help you avoid this risk.
Don’t forget to keep other practical tools on hand. These might include snow shovels, a generator, candles, flashlights, ice melt and many other necessities that you might need. The more prepared you are, the better you will be able to wait out the storm and get on with your life.