Homeowner Tips for Winter

exterior of home during winter with snowWinter is a problematic season for homeowners in New Jersey and many other places around the United States.

With the risk of freezing temperatures, heavy snowstorms, and howling winds, your home (and its contents) could be at risk of damage. That would certainly put a dampener on your holiday plans!

Of course, with homeowners insurance, you will have some protection if the weather takes its toll on your home. This can give you great peace of mind, so be sure to get in touch with us if your home isn’t properly insured.

However, it’s also important to protect your insurance coverage. It can be voided if you haven’t taken steps to winterize your home, so don’t run the risk of being frozen out of your winter coverage.

Homeowner Tips to Consider Before Winter

To prepare yourself for the chilliest of seasons, there are lots of things you can do to protect your home. There are a few suggestions below, so after reading them, take action early to reduce the risk of a winter calamity.

Insulate Your Indoor Pipes

Water damage due to burst pipes is a common reason for insurance claims, so this is certainly something to consider this winter season. It’s possible to insulate your indoor pipes yourself with DIY supplies you can buy from your local hardware store. Pay special attention to the places where burst pipes are likely to occur, such as your basement, attic, and crawl space.

If in doubt, contact your local plumbing services for advice and support.

Insulate Your Attic

How much insulation you will need will depend on the size of your attic and the temperatures in your region. There will be an expense, but attic insulation will prove cost-effective.

Your home will be warmer since you will retain more heat. This will minimize the need to crank up the thermostat and risk higher energy bills. You will also reduce the need to call out repair services as a warmer home equates to fewer problems with damp and other cold-related problems. An insulated attic can also prevent the formation of ice dams on your roof.

Again, it is possible to insulate your attic yourself using the supplies from your local hardware store. But if you are in any way unsure, it is better to call on the services of a professional for help.

Check Your Roof

If you have any loose or damaged shingles on your roof, your home could be at risk of water damage if there is heavy snowfall or rainfall this winter. Your home could be prone to nasty blasts of cold air from above too.

Bad weather could also make your roofing situation worse, as a heavy gust of wind could blow any loose shingles away and heavy snowfall could damage broken shingles further.

To check for damage, it’s advisable to do so from down below as scaling your roof can be dangerous. If you suspect there may be issues with your roof, call on the services of a licensed roofing contractor to make the repairs.

Clean Your Gutters

When your gutters become clogged, water won’t be diverted away from your home. This can create all kinds of problems, including damage to your home’s woodwork and walls.

The overflow of excess water from the gutter can also build up around your home’s foundation and this could cause structural damage.

Gutters become clogged because of backup water that has frozen into ice. Leaves and other pieces of debris can also cause a blockage in your gutters. To prevent any problems, check and clean them regularly and make sure they are properly connected to allow for precise downflow.

Prevent Tree Damage

Dead branches on a tree can easily snap when they have been affected by the cold and heavy snowfall, so it’s best to remove these before the winter months kick in. If you don’t, the broken branch could cause thousands of dollars of damage to your property if it strikes your roof, windows, or siding. It could endanger the lives of others as well.

There is also the potential for dead trees to become uprooted as the roots may have rotted below. This could also cause damage to your home and others.

To prevent tree damage, do what you can yourself by removing any dead tree branches. And for issues that you cannot manage alone, contact a reputable tree service before the colder weather arrives.

Drain Your External Water Sources

Your indoor pipes aren’t the only things that are susceptible to water freezing. Your garden hoses and sprinklers can also trap frozen water and potentially burst, as can the pipe behind the connected spigot. The best thing to do is disconnect these from your water supply and then drain them to prevent any damage. You can do this by opening up the outdoor spigot as this will allow any excess water to drain out.

Service Your Chimney and Furnace

Homes are susceptible to fire damage during the winter months due to open candle flames and dodgy Christmas tree lighting. A poorly maintained furnace and blocked chimney are two other causes of a home fire, which is why you should get them inspected and serviced annually.

As you will be reliant on them both during the cold season, you want to make sure they are both safe and functional to protect you and your home from harm. Call a heating technician for your furnace and a chimney sweep to clean your chimney, and be sure to book their services again in the year ahead.

Prepare for Winter

There is much more you can do to protect your home during the winter months, so consider these other jobs that should be added to your to-do list. This winter checklist will serve you well, so consider each task that has been listed.

You should also make sure that you are properly insured against any potential property damage that can occur during the cold season. Check our website for the coverage that we can offer you and then get in touch with us when you’re ready to discuss your options.