Most of the time, homeowners can protect themselves from winter-related property losses by using good, old-fashioned common sense. Experts advise that we follow a few simple rules to have a more pleasant cold weather experience.
Here are a few tips for preventing losses at home this winter:
Have your heating system inspected to make sure it is working properly.
If you use a supplemental heating device make sure:
it is UL approved
it is in good operating condition
it is used safely, maintaining safe distance from flammable items
you follow all safety guidance provided by the manufacturer
If you get snowed in at home and the situation isn’t dire, just relax and preserve heat by hanging blankets over windows and doors.
A trickle of hot and cold water from your taps might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing.
Open doors in cabinets containing plumbing to allow heat to efficiently spread inside the cabinet.
Make sure to remove garden hoses from outside faucets.
Check for possible air leaks around doors and windows.
Seal electrical outlets and switches on outside walls.
Pay special attention to insulation around plumbing on outside walls.
Hopefully you remembered to clear your gutters of leaves and debris to avoid ice buildup that can result in roof leaks. Better yet, install gutter guards. These can help keep snow and ice from building up inside gutters. Outside heating appliances like heat pumps must be clear of snow and debris to work efficiently.
Planning ahead will provide you greater assurance you will be able to weather winter storms safely.