Is your home ready for cooler weather?
October is a symphony of permanence and change.
~ Bonaro W. Overstreet.
Yes it is, and also the perfect time to start protecting your home against fall and winter damage.
Wind, hail, and damage caused by rain are among the most common causes of property damage, occurring mostly to the roof. In addition to these weather-related damages, fallen trees limbs and general lack of maintenance and care can also lead to a damaged roof and the home itself through leaking water and 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 and 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 to make sure it is in good condition to help prevent water penetration.
In addition, leaky windows and doors can allow rain and cold air to get into the house. Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
You may want to 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. Consider having 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.
Other house hazards.
- 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. Do not overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extensions cords or any other power service. 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.
- Keep a fire extinguisher accessible (generally found in most kitchens), filled and ready for operation.
Sources: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/chimneyfires; http://www.propertycasualty360.com/