Fall has officially arrived and with it comes cool, crisp weather. Before we know it, old man winter and freezing temperatures will be knocking on our doors. Is your home adequately prepared for winter? Now is the time to be a smart homeowner and get ahead of the coming cold weather that can wreak havoc on your home.
Here at Ross Insurance Agency, we want our customers to reap the financial benefits of organizing and preparing your home for winter. Although the prep work may seem unnecessary and you would rather be inside sipping warm cider, or watching football, you will be grateful in the end. By simply clearing your gutters, checking on your windows insulation, plumbing and heating systems, you can avoid major potential headaches and costs during the coldest months of the year.
Fall is a beautiful season filled with colorful leaves. Once those leaves begin to fall, it is important to not only rake them away in your yard but also to clear your gutters of leaves. Many homes that experience water in their basements are caused from clogged gutters. When leaves collect in your gutters, they overflow and run down the sides of your house, which can deteriorate not only the exterior of your home but also your foundation. This is an easy fix that should be done once all the leaves have fallen off the trees near your house. If you aren’t able to climb a ladder yourself to do so, it is worthwhile to hire someone for this task.
HEATING & AIR SYSTEMS
Before cold weather sets in, it is important to inspect your heating and air systems. At minimum, replace your filters in your heating system before winter hits. If you have not already committed to a service agreement with a reputable HVAC company, now would be a great time to start. During these visits, contractors will thoroughly inspect your systems and ensure that they are going to work properly when you need them. It is always better to find potential problems before frigid temperatures and large snowstorms hit, so planning ahead now is the way to go.
WINDOWS & DOORS
It is important to check your windows and doors for drafts. If you feel cool air from doors or windows, it is time to properly insulate the areas. You can insulate your windows in a variety of ways, including window film, thermal curtains, caulk and certain kinds of sealants. Compared to an insulated wall, a window can lose 10-20% more heat. Weather stripping around doorways and doorstops should be replaced if they are worn. Chimneys should also be inspected and cleaned by a professional before the first frost arrives.
PIPES & PLUMBING
Lastly, it is vital to tend to the pipes and plumbing in your home before winter strikes. Any outdoor sources of water (garden hoses, sprinklers, outdoor faucets, etc.) should be carefully turned off and drained of any excess water. This will help to avoid potential leaks and flooding when temperatures fluctuate between freezing and warmer weather. Insulation sleeves and blankets can be used to wrap around water pipes and hot water heaters if needed. When in doubt, it is always best to call in professionals to ensure all pipes are properly insulated and protected from harsh winter weather.
Ross Insurance Agency is here for you year-round for all of your homeowner’s insurance needs. Use these tips to help protect and prepare your home from winter’s harsh weather. If you do experience leaky or frozen pipes, flooding in your basement or other mishaps this winter, be sure to contact us about what all your homeowner’s insurance covers. If you do not currently have insurance on your home, what are you waiting for? Let us help you protect your family’s home so that you can enjoy making memories in the months to come.