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10 Steps to Winterize Your Home

November 29, 2016

Protect your home, winter is coming.

After the last cold front moved through and the chilly drop in temperatures the last couple days, we’re coming down to the wire before winter fully hits us. It’s important to keep your home prepared. Snow, ice, and frozen pipes are major hazards for household claims. Below are 10 simple steps to protect your home from the elements this winter.

  1. Inspect all doors and windows
    1. Watch for any cracks or places that could leak out the warm air in your home
    2. Fix these with a tube of caulking or some weather strips from the local hardware store (don’t be afraid to call the professionals)
    3. For a cheaper option, cover windows with plastic to conserve more heat
  2. Keep Your Thermostat in Check
    1. Wear socks around the house and keep blankets around to minimize the need to turn up the heater and raise your heating bills
    2. Have your thermostat set at 65 degrees or warmer to prevent your pipes from freezing
  3. Check Your Heating Systems: Furnace, boilers, & chimneys
    1. Replace your furnace filter every 3 months and have your furnace looked at by a professional every year
    2. Inspect your chimney for any damage, debris, or furry friends that have made a home before starting a fire
    3. Keep an eye on any space heaters and don’t leave them on in rooms no one is in
  4. Proactive Plumbing – Don’t let your pipes freeze
    1. Know where your pipes are and how to shut off the water – living in the midwest we get a good freeze each winter and no one wants to call the plumber to fix pipes in the cold; save yourself some time and money by draining any sprinkler or other outdoor pipes
  5. Trim the Tree(s)
    1. Remove all dead tree branches – strong winds or a buildup of snow or ice can easily cause any weak trees or dead tree branches to fall and damage your car, house, deck, roof, or even an innocent passerby
  6. Prevent Ice Dams – Clean your gutters
    1. Cleaning your gutters of all fallen leaves and any built up debris left by hibernating animals can save your ceilings, walls, and foundation from the melting of snow and ice that can’t flow through clogged gutters
  7. Maintain your Walkways
    1. Shoveling snow and ice off of your steps, driveways, and sidewalks is a great way to prevent any unfortunate slipping and sliding this winter
  8. Installation of Insulation
    1. Another chance for ice dams to form, lack of proper insulation won’t just leave you feeling chilly inside
    2. Add extra insulation to roofs, attics, and crawl spaces to prevent too much heat from escaping and melting snow and ice – not only can this cause expensive roof damage, it also helps keep heating costs down!
  9. Breathe Easy – Check for Radon, Carbon Monoxide, and Mold
    1. Maintaining your vents, air filters, and carbon monoxide monitors can help reduce trouble breathing, especially for those who are older, or have allergies and/or asthma
    2. With all of the cooking that goes on this season, gas stoves can cause a lot of additional air pollutants – make sure to test your radon and carbon monoxide levels
  10. Protect Any Automobiles
    1. Check out this article about how to keep your car ready for any inclement weather this winter

Stay warm, stay safe, and don’t hesitate to call us with any questions on who to call or what your policy covers. And should a claim arise, we’re happy to help offer guidance on next steps. Happy Holidays!

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