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Weather Determination Tips



With permission from iii.org

Here in Florida, we experience slightly milder winters, but do not get caught unprepared when freezing temperatures strike. Ice, snow and wind can have devastating consequences for your home – and for your household budget. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to avoid the cost and inconvenience of winter damage – and even help you save on heating costs. Get started when the leaves begin to turn so that your home is well prepared when the cold, harsh weather strikes. glad to have taken these steps to protect your house.

  • Clean the gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from the gutters so that snow and ice can melt freely. This can prevent ice dusting, which is what happens when water cannot flow through the gutters and instead seeps into the house and causes water to drip from the roof and walls.
  • Install gutter protection. Gutter protection prevents debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water from the house and into the ground.
  • Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car or injure someone passing by your property.
  • Repair steps and railings. Broken stairs and railings can be fatal when covered by snow and ice.
  • Use sealant to seal cracks and wall openings to prevent cold air and moisture from entering your home. Try and install weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent hot air from leaking and cold air from blowing in. and tax heating systems. Make sure that all the home's internal systems are "ready" for winter safety and efficiency.

    • Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat is released through the wind, it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. Water can then freeze again, leading to more ice formation ̵
      1; and can even lead to ice ponds that can damage your roof. Well-insulated basements and crawl spaces also help protect the pipes. Consider insulating the garage and other unfinished areas to prevent the pipes from freezing.
    • Provide a reliable backup power source. In the event of a power failure, continuous power keeps you warm and helps prevent frozen pipes or a frozen battery-powered sump pump. Consider purchasing a portable power generator to ensure safety – and be sure to follow all guidelines for safe operation.
    • Let your heating system be maintained. Furnaces, boilers and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage.
    • Carefully inspect pipes for cracks and leaks. Have all compromised pipes repaired immediately.
    • Protect pipes from attics and crawl spaces with insulation or plug-in heating cable. Be sure to purchase UL®-listed models of heating cables with built-in thermostats; these turn on the heat when needed. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully when using the cables.
    • Install an emergency pressure valve in your pipe system. This protects the system from increased pressure caused by freezer pipes and can prevent your pipes from bursting.
    • Move flammable objects away from all heat sources that you are likely to use. This includes fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters.
    • Install or check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Not only does it increase home fires in the winter, it also increases carbon monoxide poisoning – check regularly that your detectors are in working order.
    • Know where your pipes are and learn to turn off the water. If your pipes freeze, the speed is critical. The sooner you turn off water or direct your plumber to the problem, the better your chance of preventing major damage.
    • Hire a licensed contractor to look for structural damage. If damage is detected, all necessary repairs must be carried out as soon as possible.
    • Take flood prevention measures. Your licensed contractor can also advise you on measures to prevent flooding from melted snow and ice runoff. Plastic coatings for interior basement walls, sump pumps and other improvements can prevent water damage to your home and belongings.
    • Consider securing a sewer backup. Floods related to melting snow can overload sewer systems. Raw sewage that backs up into the drain in your home can cause thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewage backup is not covered by standard insurance for homeowners or tenants, nor is it covered by flood insurance but can be purchased either as a separate product or as an approval.

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