How To Prevent Ice And Snow Damage As Part Of A Home Insurance Checklist
February 19, 2014
There are many different ways that you can sustain ice or snow damage to your home during the winter season. Don’t assume that there is very little you can do to prepare. After you have talked to your agent to ensure that your home insurance is in good shape, draw up a list of action steps.
First of all, determine where the main water shutoff valve for your home is located. If you are unfortunate enough to get frozen or leaking pipes you need to know where this is without panic or delay. Have you made any alterations to your home over the summer season? Sometimes, if you had to reroute pipes then insulation may have been far from your mind during the heat of August. Now, make sure that those pipes are insulated with special foam pipe insulation that you can buy from your hardware store. If you still think that some pipes may be vulnerable during the worst weather then take special precautions. For example use a space heater to provide some extra protection. If pipes freeze up and burst because you failed to maintain heat in your home, it may negate any coverage on your home insurance policy.
Have a look at the guttering around your home. Sometimes they can get clogged with leaves and other debris at the end of the Fall season. You must conduct maintenance here or you may find that you get a buildup of ice, or the formation of icicles. If melted water has nowhere to drain it can backup and form icicles. You must remove them as they form a danger to others, but be careful when doing so. Once the storm has passed and the weather is better make sure that blocked guttering and downpipes are not to blame for these issues again. Exterior vents in and around the home must be kept clear at all times. So, if you have had some heavy snowfall one of the first jobs must be to ensure these vents are not blocked.
Keep your checklist handy and don’t be afraid to discuss “winterizing” when you talk with your home insurance agent. Do you have some special or homemade tips that you might like to share with others?