Protect Your Home From Severe Weather This Winter

Winter weatherWinter storms are one of the leading causes of catastrophic losses, with $1.9 billion in insured losses being reported in 2013. In January 2014, winter storms caused $1.5 billion in insured losses, and expected severe weather over the next few months could cause this year’s totals to climb even higher.
With the holidays in full swing, it can be hard to find the time needed to make necessary repairs to your home. However, it’s important to remember that now is the best time to prepare your home for severe winter weather. The experts at the Equifax Finance Blog have compiled a list of must-do maintenance items for you home in the article, “
The Top 10 Things You Must Do to Prep Your Home for Winter.”
Outdoor Maintenance

  • Gutters – Clean out your gutters to allow melting snow and ice to flow freely. Debris can divert water and cause it to seep into your home’s walls or ceiling. Also, install gutter guards if your home doesn’t already have them. These will further prevent debris from entering the gutter.
  • Repairs – Check your home’s exterior for any cracks or holes, particularly around water pipes, windows and roof openings. Be sure to caulk or apply weather stripping where it’s needed. Also, check all exterior stairs and railings to ensure that there are no broken or damaged pieces of wood that need to be repaired.
  • Trim Trees – Be sure to remove any dead trees from your property, and trim any branches that overhang your home, driveway or other heavily trafficked areas. Snow and ice buildup can weigh down branches and trees, causing them to break and damage your roof or vehicle.

Indoor Maintenance

  • Insulation – Be sure to add additional insulation to your basement, attic or crawl spaces. Also, add extra insulation around any water pipes that run through exterior walls.
  • Temperature – Keep your heat set to at least 65 degrees to help prevent your pipes from freezing. The space between exterior walls is significantly cooler than the inside of your house, and setting your heat too low can cause water to freeze in those pipes.
  • Heater – Have your heater serviced early in the season to ensure that it won’t quit working when you need it the most. Also, make sure to have furnaces, boilers and chimney’s inspected as well.

For more information on how to protect your home from severe winter weather, read the full article on the Equifax Finance Blog.