Winterization Checklist to Protect Your Home This Winter

Winter is a blissful yet dangerous season in the U.S., during which you can easily lose your property to winter damage or spend a lot on repairs. For instance, in 2019 alone, winter weather caused more than $2 billion in property damage, as reported by the  Insurance Information Institute (III). The most common causes of property damage during winter include, among others, heavy wind, snow, hail, bursting of pipes, fallen trees, and flooding. Winter-related damage is usually difficult and expensive to repair. For this reason, you should winterize your home for winter.

Here is a checklist for home winterization to get you started.

1. Seal Windows and Doors

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends an indoor temperature of at least 67 degrees Fahrenheit during winter. Building openings such as doors, windows, and vents can cause warm air to escape from the house and let in cold air during winter. Therefore, ensure you seal all openings using weather sealants such as weatherstrips, foam tapes, insulating films, and caulk to keep your home warm and save energy costs.

2. Check Your Heating Furnace

During winter, your furnace is particularly essential in keeping your home warm. This is because extremely low temperatures can cause hypothermia, which could easily lead to organ failure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Before winter starts, check your heating furnace and ensure it’s working properly. In particular, you should do the following things:

•    Replace the furnace filter
•    Seal cracks on the air ducts
•    Install an HVAC zoning system to heat your rooms evenly
•    Set the thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and above

3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Thanks to falling snow, your roof is particularly vulnerable to winter-related damage. For this reason, you should take the necessary measures to protect your root from such damage. In particular, you should remove snow from your roof as soon as possible. Equally important, clean and unclog your gutters and downspouts, allowing them to work as intended. This will prevent roof damage and several other problems, including foundation damage, basement flooding, mold, and mildew.

4. Insulate the Plumbing System

During winter, outdoor temperatures may fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, causing water in pipes to freeze and expand. This is a problem because the pressure build-up could cause your water pipes to burst, leading to water damage, as reported by the National Weather Service (NWS). Some of the measures you can take to ensure this does not happen include, among others:

•    Insulating the pipes, especially those in basements
•    Keeping water flowing in the plumbing system
•    Installing an automatic pressure release mechanism
•    Heating the pipes indirectly, for example, leaving your heater on even when you’re not at home.

5. Buy Winter Supplies

No matter how many winterization measures you put in place to prevent winter damage, you may still have to deal with some winter-related problems directly. For instance, you may need to remove snow from your roof to prevent roof damage or clear ice from your driveway to avoid skidding. To do any of these things, you will require some winter supplies, including, among others, a snow shovel, roof rake, waterproof gloves, warm clothes, waterproof shoes, and heating bags. In case snow builds up on the roof, use a roof rake to pull it down while standing on the ground to avoid accidents.

As winter approaches, keep this home winterization checklist handy. Equally important, purchase the right homeowners insurance policy before winter starts. For more questions related to homeowners insurance, contact the experts at The Reardon Agency. We are ready to assist you with all your insurance needs today.


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