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How to Winterize Your Home This Season

With today being the first day of winter, we thought it would be a good time share with our readers some ways that they can protect their property.  

So far, we have been lucky and haven’t had to deal with harsh snow or ice. However, now might be your last chance to get your home or business ready before the winter storms and freezing temperatures kick in.

Even the best-built homes or buildings aren’t immune to drastic temperature changes or damaging ice. First, keep a well-maintained structure. A big issue many homeowners and business face during the winter months are frozen pipes. Allowing some faucets to drip during these months can keep the water pipes from freezing. Also, be sure to unhook any hoses from outdoor faucets to avoid cracks in both the faucet or the hose connection.

Liquids expand as they freeze and pipes full of water are vulnerable to this fact. To detect a frozen pipe, turn the water on and see if any water comes out. If it doesn’t, chances are the pipe has frozen and is now susceptible to bursting. A pipe leak can lead to water damage in your home. If you suspect a frozen or broke pipe, call a plumber immediately and check with your insurance agent to see if you’re covered should any damage occur. Shut off the main water valve and leave the faucets open until repairs are made.

Here are some additional tips to keep your home or business safe this winter:

  • Remove leaves from gutters and drains, including roof drains, to ensure smooth water flow;
  • Prune trees over roofs and clear brush from drainage ditches and reservoirs to provide unimpeded flow of water;
  • Space heaters should be avoided, but if they are necessary, use only UL-labeled devices that include modern safety features;
  • If you plan to have a contractor perform snow removal, obtain certificates of insurance every year and ensure formal contracts are in place with appropriate risk transfer provisions verified; establish clear operational guidelines and expectations; and
  • Ensure all windows and doors are properly sealed, particularly those in unheated areas.

For more information and advice on the best way to protect your home or business, contact Lang Insurance at 636-229-7000.