Get Your Home Ready for Cold Weather
Wind, hail, and water damage are among the most common causes of property damage, occurring mostly to the roof. Additionally, fallen tree limbs and a general lack of maintenance and can also lead to not only roof damage but overall home damage through leaking water and wood rotting.
To keep your roof in good condition, we suggest the following:
- Trim trees and remove dead branches to prevent them from falling due to wind, ice or snow.
- Check for roof damage, clean gutters and downspouts. It is very important to keep those falling leaves from building up in the gutters.
- If you live in a hail-prone area, consider an impact-resistant roofing material such as glazed ceramic or baked clay flat roof tiles.
- Adding extra attic insulation may prevent ice dams, which are caused by excessive heat escaping from a poorly insulated attic, melting snow and ice on the roof and refreezing. This can cause water damage inside the home.
- Check flashing (waterproofing) to make sure it is in good condition to help prevent water penetration.
- Leaky windows and doors can allow rain and cold air to get into the house. Repair the caulking around all doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
Consider having your home inspected for wind mitigation. Wind mitigation refers to the hardening of your home against damage from a windstorm. Policyholders who take the proper steps to make their homes more resistant to wind are eligible for a discounts off their Access Home Insurance premium. Learn more about wind mitigation.
Don’t forget the chimney!
Chimney fires are caused by buildup of material inside the flue of a chimney. Have your chimney professionally cleaned by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. They will inspect your solid fuel venting system annually, clean and make repairs where needed. Your professional sweep may have other maintenance recommendations depending on how you use your fireplace or stove.
- If you have a furnace, consider replacing the filter and have it cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
- Clean your clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Make a habit of removing all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
- Check electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Consider purchasing a surge protector for multiple power resources.
- Inspect your smoke detectors and make sure there is one on every floor in your house. Test them monthly and replace the battery annually.