Homeowner’s Guide & Tips for when the temperatures drop, keep hazards at bay with these simple steps:
Inside the house
- Keep your house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing.
- Check the location for the main water shutoff in your home. And refresh your memory on—or learn—how it works, in case you have to use it.
- Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. In severely frigid temperatures, keeping water moving within the pipes will help prevent freezing.
- Check those fireplaces, wood stoves and electric heaters are working properly. Make sure there are no combustible items near the heat sources and watch them closely.
- Keep your fireplace flue closed when you’re not using it.
- Ask a neighbor to check the house regularly any time you’re away. If pipes freeze or if there’s a water leak, quick action could mean far less damage.
Outside the house
The weight of snow could damage your roof. Backed-up gutters might allow water to seep into your house. Vigilance is key during severe weather—stay ahead of the potential hazards outside your home.
- Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free from snow and ice. You don’t want anyone to slip and fall.
- Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into your house. Clear gutters of leaves and debris to allow runoff from melting snow and ice to flow freely.
- Keep your garage doors closed. This will prevent weather damage to whatever’s stored in there. Plus, if your garage is attached to your house, the home entrance door from the garage is probably not as well insulated as an exterior door so this will keep more heat in.
- Double-check for dead, damaged, or dangerous tree branches and have them removed. Even if they looked sound earlier in the year, trees can be affected by ice, snow, or wind. When stressed, branches can fall and damage your house or car, or injure someone on or near your property.
In the event of a problem
Sometimes the unfortunate happens—but homeowners that apply quick action can minimize the damage.
- Don’t wait for frozen pipes to burst. If your pipes are frozen, take measures to thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.
- If your pipes burst, first turn off the water. You know now where the main water shut-off is, right? Cut off the flow, then attend to the mess and …
- Properly dry and repair any water damage. This will help prevent any potential problems with mold.
- Call your insurance professional as soon as possible—before you call a repair service.
How Can We Help?
Let us help you get clear on the best ways to keep you and your home in tip-top shape all winter, especially when it comes to windows, doors, and exterior renovations. We’re ready to serve you and estimates are free! Please just give us a call at (847) 892-4071 or schedule a free consultation here. We’ll be right over.
Insurance Information Institute. Source: https://www.iii.org/article/tips-surviving-severe-cold-weather