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Preparing Your Home for Winter

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Preparing Your Home for Winter

A house with snow on the roof and trees in front of it.

A red and black background with an arrow in the middle.As we approach winter, colder temperatures usher in numerous hazards that can be avoided with preventative maintenance of your home. Your homeowner’s insurance covers your family and the guests who visit your home, but winter conditions – like snow, ice and hail – bring added chances for damages or accidents that could result in having to file an insurance claim.

Since additional claims can lead to rate increases, a few inexpensive – or even no-cost – measures taken now can save you money in the long run. Here are some tips from Glenn Insurance to winterize your home and protect you from unnecessary claims in the coming months.

Clean Your Gutters

By the time winter rolls around, your gutters may be clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris that fell during autumn. Freezing rain, ice and snow that eventually melts on your roof can cause water to build up behind clogged spots in your gutters and overflow into your home. Regular cleaning of your gutters is a no-cost way to avoid trouble (and claims) in colder months. But please be careful when climbing ladders to clean those gutters! Be sure your ladder is securely placed on even ground and leaning against a stable area of the wall or gutter. Avoid contact with electrical wiring. Since gutter cleaning can be dangerous, consider hiring a professional, or better yet, have gutter guards installed to avoid this chore in the future.

Insulate Pipes, Shut Off Outside Faucets

Protect your home from bursting pipes by disconnecting garden hoses from outside faucets. Shut off the water supply to those outside faucets, then open them to allow any sitting water to drain out. When water inside your pipes freezes, it expands and can cause pipes to burst open. Lastly, affix some foam insulation around the pipes leading to your outside faucets to keep the cold weather outside from freezing the water inside the pipes just inside your home. These measures take minimal effort, but can eliminate headaches and claims from water damage this winter.

Check Your Roof

Giving your roof a thorough pre-winter once-over is another way to avoid potential claims from water damage from melting snow and ice. You should check your shingles, flashing and caulking for any damage, like holes and cracks through which melted snow and ice can leak into your home.

Avoid Fire

There is an increased chance of fire in wintertime, no matter what kind of heating system (gas, oil, electric) you have in your home. You may love to cozy up by the fireplace in the winter, but be sure to keep flammable items away from the hearth. Furthermore, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure to maintain your chimney to avoid fire and smoke damage. If you have a gas fireplace, be sure to shut off the gas valve when it’s not in use. Finally, keep the area around space heaters and your water heater free of items that can burst into flame as these heaters will be very hot when in use. If you use an outdoor fire pit on seasonable nights, make sure you douse the flame and embers with water completely when you’re finished enjoying the fire.

Shovel the Snow, Salt Your Sidewalks

After a snowfall, shovel your walkways, driveways, carports and doorsteps to prevent your family and guests from slipping and falling while on your property. Removing the snow right away will help prevent ice from forming underneath the snow. Spreading some rock salt also helps prevent ice from forming on your sidewalks and driveway. Keeping these surfaces from getting slippery can help to avoid claims, or worse, lawsuits, that could result from slips and falls.

Maintaining your home represents your commitment to the safety of your family and guests. Simple and inexpensive preventative measures you take now will help you avoid damage, injury and the claims that could result this winter. Minimizing the number of claims you file by winterizing your home will insulate you from any increases in your homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Glenn Insurance wants you and your loved ones to be safe. Call 1-888-OK-GLENN for a quote or to review your homeowner’s policy. Visit us on the web at GlennInsurance.com.

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