Preparing the inside of your home for the impending cold weather is an important annual task in the Northeast. An often overlooked task, however, is to make sure that the outside of your home is also prepared. also your basement and crawlspace. If rainwater and snow can not move along the chimney, it goes up and over again … which can damage your garden beds that lie under these gutters as well. Before the first snow, all gutters must be checked for debris and any clogs. Ideally, you can drain these gutters when they are dry. If you have anywhere near the number of leaves we make, you will do this cleaning more than once.
Take time to visually inspect your trees for weak limbs. Snow and ice that builds up can cause the extremities to crack and fall, which can damage everything underneath, including your roof, shed or fence. There is great satisfaction in cutting down these limbs and removing them. However, trees that are close to SOME power lines are best left to experts. Terrible accidents can happen if a homeowner's pruning tool comes in contact with a live wire.
All water connections on the outside of the house must be emptied and closed properly. If not done correctly, the water pipe leading into the house can freeze and crack, making it useless and expensive to fix next spring. Hoses and sprinklers should also be drained, wrapped and laid away.
Winter grabbing your lawn is an important step so you do not have to spend extra money next spring to put it back together. All leaves, acorns and twigs should be raked; if left in place, this debris will suffocate the grass and not allow air to enter the soil. Grass can be cut until the first frost. Applying proper fertilizer to the lawn before this event, preferably after a new mowing, is important as it will keep the grass healthy and strong. All bushes that are overgrown should be cut down so that they can withstand heavy snow.
All your outdoor furniture and decor should be cleaned and put away to prevent damage from elements that can split wood, paint and rust or rust joints. Only strong winds can send lawn chairs to your neighbor's garden or in the middle of the street. Pools should be properly drained and covered.
Preventive measures are well worth your holiday when you endure another winter without insurance claims. When your home and garden are intact next spring, you can spend weekends on the golf course! Should we encounter a significant weather event, FEMA is a great information resource. Of course, Gordon Atlantic insurance staff always welcomes your calls. Our toll free number is 1-800-649-3252. Prefer writing versus talking? Use the "Insurance question" button below to send us a written message.