Wondering why you need to prepare your home for winter? If you don’t take the precautionary steps to prepare your home for the winter season, you may have to file a claim on your home insurance. If the cold season causes major damage to your home or if someone falls on your property, you will need to make a claim and with it, your home insurance premiums may go up as well.
Just because you have home insurance to pay for potential damage, injury, and liability issues that may come up, does not mean that you can be careless with your winter preparation. It is essential that you prepare your home for winter and here’s where to start:
1. Cover Window Wells and Crawl Space Vents
You need to cover window wells and crawl space vents. Winter can cause the moisture to freeze and result in cracks forming in the foundation or pipes to freeze under your home. You can prevent cold and damp air from blowing into your crawlspace and basement by covering crawl space vents and window wells. In doing so, you can prevent major issues from occurring during winter.
2. Insulate All Areas of the House Properly
You need to insulate all areas of your house. You do not want heat to escape outside of your property. Check the attic to see if it is insulated properly and prevent heat from escaping quickly. By insulting all the areas of your house, including windows and doors, you will save money, as it will help retain heat. Additionally, put up energy-saving draft protectors and energy-saving protectors if you find cold air entering your home.
3. Clean Out the Gutters and Drains
You need to clear out the gutters and drains of your home. Debris such as mud and leaves can block the drains and result in leaks or burst pipes. Leaky or burst pipes can result in major water damage with water leaking into your home from the walls and roof. You also need to ensure that the gutters of your home are clean. Cleaning the gutters from any buildup will reduce the risk of water damage.
4. Prevent Frozen Pipes
You can prevent frozen pipes by draining all external water sources at the start of winter, such as by turning off the water valves outdoors and garden hoses. If you have a swimming pool, cover it. In doing so, it will prevent the pipes from freezing in the winter. You also need to drain your lawn’s irrigation system. Make sure to drain the water from the sprinkler system to prevent leaks and frozen pipes.
5. Sweep the Chimney
Homeowners with chimneys need to maintain it. In winter, you will turn on your fireplace to warm your surroundings. For this reason, take some measures to clean out your chimney. Since chimney fires can occur several times during winter, hire a professional to clean and maintain your chimney.
6. Inspect Your Boiler
- Examine the boiler to find out if the pilot light is turned on, relighting it if it is not. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to relight the pilot light of the boiler.
- Ensure your boiler is powered by electricity by checking all the switches.
- Place a new switch into the plug and check the boiler’s thermostat to see if it is on and set it to high.
- Call a professional technician to repair the boiler if you are still experiencing issues with your boiler.
7. Obtain Home Insurance Coverage
The Last Step
Once you have prepared your home for winter, walk around your home for a final inspection. Trim all tree branches hanging too low and close to your home, as they can freeze and break off during winter, causing damage to your home. Trim away all the branches that are too close to your power lines, garage, and house.
You also need to perform one final inspection inside of your home to ensure every inch of the house is prepared for winter. Do not forget to call a professional to inspect your heating and cooling system, as that too can malfunction if you have not maintained it.
In the end, you need to check in with your homeowners insurance company, as they can provide you with tips on how to prepare your home for winter as well and tell you about what they cover and do not cover.
If you do have to make a claim on your homeowners insurance coverage in the winter season, you will at least have a peace of mind knowing that you will not be paying for the damages from your pocket. However, you should still check your homeowners insurance coverage to ensure it is up to date, as the more claims you make, the higher your premiums can become, which is why it is essential that you take measures to minimize the chances of you making a claim on your homeowners insurance coverage.
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