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Winterize Your House in 7 Steps

Like it or not, winter is on its way. And as pretty as all the snow can be, it can wreak havoc on your home. Plus, the forecast is for an even more severe winter than the one we just had here in the northeast (joy).
Here’s a good and quick checklist to help keep your home protected, and you toasty warm, this winter.

1. Weather stripping in your friend
It keeps warm air in and cold air out. It’s also easy to find, available at almost any hardware store. Added bonus: it’s quick and easy to apply!
Be sure to check these areas in your home that are susceptible to air leaks and drafts:
•    Windows
•    Doors
•    Vents and fans
•    Plumbing areas
•    Air conditioners
•    Mail chutes
•    Electrical and gas lines
2. Gutter cleanliness saves headaches
Clear gutters help ensure the proper drainage of water away from your roof and your house. If they get clogged up, you could be dealing with melting ice and snow seeping into your roof or foundation. Not good. If you are apt, clean them up yourself before the cold weather hits. If not, leave it to the professionals.

3. Check your roof

Another fun phenomenon that can occur during the colder months is ice dams. They are caused from water melting and re-freezing on your rooftop. This water can add weight to your roof, or in some cases, get under it. You can help prevent ice dams by insulating and ventilating your attic. If your roof is insulated and vented properly, it will help prevent the melting ice in the first place.
4. Invest in a roof rake

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IIBHS), says an average roof can handle up to four feet of fresh snow before it become stressed. That seems like a lot, but once the snow gets packed down, and if there are multiple subsequent storms, the weight can really add up and even cause a collapse.
A roof rake can help you stay on top of things and make sure snow accumulation on your roof doesn’t get out of control.  

5. Embrace your inner landscaper
Long tree branches lurking near your house, your roof, or your gutters can equal big trouble. Heavy snow can cause these branches to break and wreak havoc on your home. A little bit of time yielding the pruner now could save your house (and maybe thousands of dollars) this winter.

6. Do the can can
Stock up on supplies now, before the cold weather sets in. Buy a bunch of canned/non-perishable foods now so that when bad weather strikes, you are sitting back in your Snuggie and not fighting the crowds at your local super market.
Also, harsh storms can cause power outages, so be sure you have plenty of bottled water, batteries, flashlights, (and maybe even a generator!)

7. Beware of freezing pipes
According to the IIBHS, a burst pipe can literally cause thousands of dollars in water damage (over $5,000 actually). Here are a few tips to avoid the freeze:
•    Don’t turn the heat way down when you are out of town (or even just away for the day).
•    Let faucets drip during major cold snaps.
•    Give your pipes a hug. Foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves for pipes are easy to install and available at almost any hardware store.
•    Caulk up cracks or holes in your walls to keep cold air away from pipes.
•    If your pipes do freeze, and water stops flowing from faucets, call a plumber stat!

This checklist will help you and your home fare the winter months. But also be sure you have enough homeowner’s insurance coverage just in case. Be sure to talk to us at Keenan Insurance Agency to make sure you enjoy the warm and fuzzy feeling of being properly insured.

Posted 2:13 PM

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