7 tips to prep your home for winter


Winter can be beautiful… until Mother Nature’s wrath wreaks havoc on your home. There are some thing you can do to protect your biggest investment from damage in the coldest, must unpredictable months of the year.

Protect your pipes

Burst pipes are the most common source of damage for homes in winter. Wrap basement and crawl space pipes with insulation. During super cold snaps, you can open cabinet doors in bathrooms and kitchens to bring the walls up a few degrees. Of course, you can always slow drip the faucets.

Get ice and snow off the roof

Eliminate your polar ice cap by raking the snow off. Roof ice dams caused by melting and refreezing water can cause damage to ceilings and walls. Keep your attic about 5-10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.

Prep an emergency kit for home and car

Include shovel, road salt or cat litter, ice scaper for the windshield, small amount of food and water, medication and a cell phone charger that plugs into the car. Battery powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries. Keep all of our important papers in one place including insurance and doctor’s info. Never go for drives with our car tank less than half full.

Use a home generator

Many insurers offer discounts. A 7-kilowatt standby generator costs about $2,000 and could be worth every penny in an emergency. A portable generator is about $800 for 7 kilowatts.

Ask your insurer what discounts they offer

Stormproof shutters may lower your insurance costs. Find out if there are other steps you can take to reduce your premiums.

Take the time to double check your insurance coverage

You may think you’re covered, but are you really? Some water damage is interpreted as flood damage – but does your policy include this specialized coverage? See about a sewer back up rider while you’re reviewing your policy.

Check the safety of your heaters

Furnaces and other sources of heat often can be fire hazards. Change your filters, make sure the intakes/outputs are unobstructed. Make sure there is proper ventilation to protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning. A sturdy screen keeps sparks in the fireplace where they belong. Make sure your chimney is clean.

Source: Kiplinger


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