All homeowners know that the winter brings severe weather and with it more wear and tear on their homes. In preparation for the coming winter months, what can you do ahead of time to protect your home?
- Roofs take a beating in the winter, so this is a good time to make sure that shingles are secure, there are no missing roof parts, no bubbles, no missing tiles, holes, leaks, etc. Now is also a great time to get your roof inspected and make any necessary repairs to avoid the unwanted effects of high winds, heavy snows and pounding rainstorms. If you know there are any damage risks, attend to it now so that a small difficulty doesn’t turn into a disaster later on.
- Check skylights, vents and chimneys to make sure that no repairs are needed and everything is tight and secure from any water leakage.
- Check leaders and gutters and make sure that they are clear of leaves, tree branches and any other debris associated with the Fall season. Clogged downspouts often lead to freezing and ice damage later in the season.
- Make sure that trees and branches are trimmed back and pruned so that any dead branches or tree overhangs don’t fall and damage your roof, chimney, skylights, windows and doors.
- Make sure furnaces are cleaned and in good working order so that you don’t run the risk of being without heat on those bitter cold days that are sure to come.
- Check carbon dioxide and smoke detectors, making sure that they are working properly and their batteries have been changed.
- Check water pipes for any leaks. A small leak can be managed by changing a pipe or repairing a portion of a pipe. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure to contact your service company for a shut-off as well. A large leak can be a nightmare and do considerable damage to your home.
- Chimneys need to be maintained and cleaned.
- Make sure you clean out the lint filter in your dryer every time you use it to prevent build-up of lint which is certainly a fire hazard.
- Check your electrical outlets, plugs and cords for any deficiencies such as wear and tear, overload, and fraying cords.
In short, maintenance is the key to preventing homeowner claims that may be caused by the elements or a lack of attention. If you are in doubt about how to protect your home, speak to your agent. “An ounce of prevention” is surely worth your time so we urge you to embrace this opportunity to safeguard your home. Good luck and stay warm this winter!