Are you ready for the polar vortex? If you haven’t heard, winter will be chillier this year due to subzero temperatures of the pressure system. We at Kipper Insurance want to keep you and your home safe this winter.To protect your home assets, consider these following tips and essential winter-time precautions.
Prevent Freezing Pipes
Drastic drops in temperature can cause pipes to suddenly freeze and burst. To prevent the excessive cost of homewide plumbing repairs, follow these simple steps. First, disconnect and store all outside or unused plumbing systems, such as garden hoses or exterior piping. Next, use foam pipe insulation to cover any exposed interior plumbing in areas such as the attic or garage. Lastly, know where your water shut-off valve is so you can turn it off quickly.
Beware of Ice Dams
During a winter freeze, ice will form around trees, power lines, roads, and other structures. When that ice melts and refreezes, ice dams occur. Ice causes extensive damage to your roof and lead to costly repairs or roof replacement. To avoid this, you have to keep heat from reaching your roof which prevents the ice from melting in the first place. This is typically done by keeping the attic space well insulated and ventilated. Use soffit, gabble, and/or ridge vents to keep heat from reaching your roof. While a new insulation job can range from $800-$1,500, the savings are considerable compared to an entire roof replacement, which is often required when ice dams set-in.
While pipes and roofs are the big winter hazards, there are a few cost and safety tips to keep in mind. For starters, caulking old windows and using weather strips can keep you warm and save you a few bucks off your heating bill. To keep yourself safe, clear all walkways and gutters of debris. These are tripping hazards that are exacerbated after a freeze. Also, be sure to trim any sickly or overhanging tree branches to prevent them from falling on you or your home.
Always keep enough fuel on-hand to heat your home in the event of a power outage. A shovel and a melting agent, like rock salt, are also great to have stored away. Stock up on food, water, extra blankets, candles, and a radio with batteries in the event of a forced hibernation. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to keep a set of cards or other games handy to make the most of your time indoors and drive away the winter blues.
Even if you’re not accustomed to winter freezes, it wouldn’t hurt to keep these preventive measures in mind. Not only will they keep you warm, but they will eliminate the risk of a ruined roof, frozen pipes, and other unexpected cold-weather threats.
Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center