As we approach winter, colder temperatures pose many dangers that can be avoided with preventive maintenance of your home. Your homeowner's insurance covers your family and the guests who visit your home, but winter conditions ̵
Since further claims can lead to interest rate hikes, some cheap – or even free – measures taken now can save money in the long run. Here are some tips from Glenn Insurance to overwinter your home and protect you from unnecessary claims in the coming months.
Clean your gutters
As winter rolls around, your gutters may be clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris that fell during the autumn. Frozen rain, ice and snow that eventually melts on your roof can cause water to accumulate behind clogged stains in your gutters and overflow into your home. Regular cleaning of your gutters is a free way to avoid problems (and claims) during colder months. But be careful when climbing ladders to clean these gutters! Make sure your ladder is securely placed on level ground and leans against a stable area on the wall or gutter. Avoid contact with electrical wires. Since gutter cleaning can be dangerous, consider hiring a professional, or better yet, have gutter guards installed to avoid this chores in the future. from blowing pipes by disconnecting garden hoses from outside taps. Turn off the water supply to the outside taps and open them so that any stagnant water drains out. When water inside your pipes freezes, it expands and can cause pipes to spread. Finally, attach some foam insulation around the pipes leading to your faucets to prevent the cold weather outside from freezing the water in the pipes just inside your home. These measures require minimal effort, but can eliminate headaches and claims from water damage in winter.
Check Your Roof
Giving your roof a thorough before winter once again is another way to avoid potential claims from water damage from melting snow and ice. You should check your shingles, blink and seal for any damage, such as holes and cracks through which melted snow and ice can leak into your home.
There is an increased risk of fire in the winter, regardless of the type of heating system (gas, oil, electricity) you have in your home. You may love to cuddle by the fireplace in the winter, but be sure to keep flammable objects away from the fireplace. Also, if you have a wood burning stove, be sure to maintain the chimney to avoid fire and smoke damage. If you have a gas stove, be sure to turn off the gas valve when not in use. Finally, keep the area around the space heater and your water heater free from objects that can burn in flames, as these heaters become very hot when used. If you use an outdoor fireplace on seasonal nights, make sure you extinguish the flame and glow with water completely when you are done with the fire.
Shovel the snow, salt your sidewalks
After a snowfall, shovel your walkways, driveways, carports and thresholds to prevent your family and guests from slipping and falling while on your property. Removing the snow immediately helps prevent ice from forming under the snow. Spreading some rock salt also helps prevent ice from forming on your sidewalks and driveways. Preventing these surfaces from becoming slippery can help avoid claims, or worse, lawsuits, which can be due to slips and falls.
Maintaining your home represents your commitment to your family and your guests. Simple and inexpensive preventive measures you take now will help you avoid injuries, damage and claims that can occur this winter. Minimizing the number of claims you make by the winter home in your home will isolate you from any increases in your homeowner's insurance premiums.
Glenn Insurance wants you and your loved ones to be safe. Call 1-888-OK-GLENN for a quote or to review your homeowner's policy. Visit us online at GlennInsurance.com.