The beautiful colors and crisp air of fall, although refreshing, are warning signs that winter is fast approaching. The winter months are statistically more active for property claims, when compared to the summer months. As the winter looms, it is important to take advantage of this time to prepare your home against the cold.
The most important thing you can do for your home is to be sure it is properly sealed and insulated. This will keep the cold temperatures from dropping too low in areas of your home that are not heated, as well as your living spaces. Gaps around windows and doors should be sealed. Caulking these gaps is a minor and inexpensive way not only to prevent a loss, but also to save on your energy bill.
TIP: Reverse The Direction Of Your Ceiling Fans During The Winter
Running a low, clockwise fan during the winter redistributes the warm air down and pushes cool air up. This can also save up to 15 percent on energy costs during the winter.
Frozen water expands and can cause cracks and burst pipes. According to Xactware's 2015 US Property Report, water loss from frozen pipes was the most common claim during the winter months, accounting for 30 percent of reported claims. To prepare for the winter, drain the water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems. Disconnect any outdoor hose and cover the faucet with insulation. In the unheated areas of your home — like a crawlspace, basement, attic, or garage — wrap pipes in insulation.
TIP: Make Sure Everyone In The Home Knows Where The Water Shutoff Is And How To Turn The Water Off In The Case Of An Emergency
The ability to stop the water quickly can not only mitigate the cost of a claim, but could also save valuable or irreplaceable keepsakes in your home.
While you are on the roof putting up holiday lights, it is a great idea to also clean the gutters! Clogged gutters and downspouts cause water to pool and sit. Standing water has a higher freezing temperature when compared to running water. If you see icicles hanging from your gutter, it is a sign of poor drainage
Although there is nothing more comforting on a cold winter night than the warm crackle of a fireplace, there is nothing more damaging to your home than a chimney fire. Xactware's report concluded the average fire claim was upwards of $50,000, and by far the most expensive winter loss. A clean chimney is also less likely to experience a "back puffing" event. This happens when soot and debris blow back down the chimney and into the home. This can cause significant damage to personal property, rugs, and other appliances.
TIP: Prior To The Winter, Have A Professional Chimney Sweep Clean The Soot And Debris That Could Catch Fire
It is also recommended to keep the flue closed at all times when you are not using the fireplace.
These are just a few tips to help keep your home safe this winter. For any additional questions or tips for the season, don't hesitate to reach out to your agent here at the Ten Eyck Group!