Protecting Your Home From Winter Weather Damage

Keep Warm

The number of home fires skyrockets during the winter because so many families use various devices to heat their homes. If you regularly light fires in your fireplace, use a screen to prevent sparks from flying out and igniting nearby objects. It’s recommended that you hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney annually to prevent creosote buildup from catching fire.

Electric space heaters should be positioned three feet away from any flammable objects, such as bedding or furniture. Always turn heating devices off before leaving the house or going to sleep. If you use a fuel-burning heater, place it outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

Because the risk of fire is so high, manually check each smoke alarm’s batteries every three months and change when necessary. You may also want to install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home to alert you in the event that noxious fumes are present in your home (combustion releases toxic gases that can silently kill).

Pipe Care

Frozen pipes can cause big problems if they burst, but it’s relatively easy to prevent your home from flooding. Insulate your pipes with heating tape or wrap them with rags for extra warmth. During frigid nights, leave under-the-sink cabinet doors open to let warm air in and open your faucets enough to allow a slow drip. That slight movement can help prevent water from freezing.

Because the interior of the walls where pipes are located is a colder area than the rooms of your house, you must keep your thermostat set no lower than 65°F to prevent those interior spaces from sinking below the freezing point. The extra money you spend on electricity will certainly be less than what it would cost to repair a burst pipe.

Outdoor Maintenance

Apart from sweeping snow out of the driveway, the exterior of your home and property need additional attention during winter. Regularly check your trees for signs of branches that are being weighed down by snow and ice; trim away these branches before they have the chance to fall on top of your home, car or injure a passerby.

Another common outdoor winter woe is called ice damming. It occurs when debris clogs your gutters and prevents proper drainage. Backed up water can freeze during a cold snap and, as it melts, it can seep into your home if it has nowhere else to go. Cleaning your gutters routinely can prevent this pesky problem.

With a watchful eye and the proper care, winter doesn’t have to be as rough on your house. Performing the right amount of maintenance can help your home outlast many more seasons, for years to come.

Rand Wright is owner of the independent insurance agency Carlton Wright Insurance Agency located in Roanoke Virginia. Contact him for a Roanoke home insurance quote today.