Simple Ways to Prepare Your Home for Severe Weather
With winter on the way, now is a great time to look over your property and prepare for potential liabilities from severe weather. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your insurance will cover damage from storms, wind, snow and freezing temperatures. Depending on your provider and plan, your claim could be denied if you don’t practice specific types of home maintenance or take other measures to protect your property.
Let’s take a look at some simple home preparation tips for potential severe weather:
Have your roof inspected.
Since the roof is your home’s first line of defense against inclement weather, you want to make sure it’s in great shape for fall and winter. Bring out a professional to inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles, and to make any necessary repairs. This is key to protecting your home against water damage from heavy rain, snow, ice and wind.
On top of that, if you live in a competitive housing market, keeping your roof in pristine condition will help you to get better offers if you ever decide to sell. In fact, Redfin points out that average homeowners see $2,800 more when they make roof repairs before selling.
Get debris from your gutters and downspouts.
Along with tending to your roof, you want to keep your gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and other debris. That way, water can drain properly away from your home’s foundation, which can prevent serious issues from ice dams and water overflow. If water currently does not flow away from your home, consider investing in downspout extensions.
Pick up leaves.
Fall drops an abundance of beautiful leaves on our lawns, driveways and walkways. It’s important, however, to clear the leaves from your property—particularly from your driveway and walkways—as they can pose a liability risk. WWLP explains this is because the leaves can become slick when they get wet, potentially leaving your driveway and walkways unsafe for foot traffic. Ensure you have equipment to keep those leaves swept away, and while you’re at it, be sure to have any damaged trees or tree limbs trimmed to help prevent serious damage to your home.
Prep and close up your swimming pool.
If you have a swimming pool, it’s essential to prepare it for winter. Clean out all debris from the pool, because it will be much more difficult to remove the debris come spring (leaves and other debris can become stuck to the bottom of the pool). Also, clean the pool filter and balance the water’s PH level so that it stays sanitized through winter. Furthermore, be sure to cover the pool to protect the water and keep people out.
Keep your home warm.
There are many ways to ensure you and your loved ones stay warm in the colder months. First of all, inspect your furnace, heat exchanger, air filter and thermostat, and make any necessary repairs or replacements. If you have a chimney or fireplace, inspect and clean them before using them.
You also want to make sure your home is properly sealed from the elements—both for comfort and for a lower energy bill. Evaluate the weatherstripping around your doors and windows, and replace them if necessary. If there are any cracks or holes in your home’s exterior, fill them with caulk. And don’t ever let your home get lower than 65 degrees, or you run the risk of your pipes freezing and breaking.
Instead of relying solely on insurance, take steps this fall to prepare your home for harsh weather. Make any necessary repairs to your roof, and clean your gutters and downspouts regularly. Remove the fallen leaves from your property, and thoroughly winterize your swimming pool. Finally, take any necessary measures to keep your home warm and comfortable through the winter months.
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