Our area is subjected to cold weather, consisting of snowfall and freezing temperatures that can be a recipe for disaster in homes. Being that ice is slippery, heavy, and it expands when it freezes, is something to always be cautious about. Here are some points on how to make sure you aren’t contacting your insurance agent because of a winter-related incidents:
- Have the house heated to at least 60 degrees so the inside walls of your home don’t freeze.
- Keep gutters free of debris so melting snow/ice can flow freely and not turn into a few hundred pounds of falling ice.
- Stay on top of clearing off your driveway and sidewalk of snow, which will make clearing snow easier and prevent an accumulation of ice in the future.
- Make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots and you know where the main water shutoff is in your home.
- If your garage is attached to your home, keep the garage doors closed at all times to better insulate the house.
- Pay careful attention to snow/ice accumulation on trees, the heavy weight can break branches and cause large amounts of damage.
- Always have someone designated to visit your home if you are on a trip for a long period of time to periodically check to make sure nothing has gone wrong (frozen pipes, water leakage, etc…)
- If you discover some pipes are frosted over and have not yet bursted, take measures to thaw frozen pipes immediately. You can save your home from a substantial water and mold damage.
- If your water pipes burst, find the main water shutoff right away. Clean the water spillage to prevent extra water damage.
- Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage. Remove any carpet or furniture that can be further damaged from seepage.
- Make a list of the damaged articles (save the receipts for what you items you buy), take pictures, and contact your Independent Insurance Agent
Remember, the faster you act with water related incidents, the much more likely you will save yourself from thousands of dollars worth of damages! We still have many days of cold winter days to come so don’t think you are in the clear just yet!