Snow on the roof – When there’s a huge snowfall, it can pile up quickly. Thick layers of snow accumulating on your roof could compromise your roof, eaves, or flashing potentially causing damage to your home.
It is recommended to hire a professional to reduce or remove excess snow from the roof. It could save you from potential claims, which often lead to increased rates.
Icicles – Large icicles could be a sign that there is an ice dam build-up. Ice dams can cause water leaks, wet insulation, damage to shingles, and cracks to ceilings. To prevent this, make sure your attic is properly insulated and gutters are cleaned. If the problem is left too long, you may be dealing with a mold or mildew issue that may not be covered under your policy.
Falling trees – It’s always a good idea to remove dead trees and to trim healthy ones before they become a problem. Fallen tree claims spike in the fall and winter months, due to windstorms or heavy snow.
Protect pipes – When the weather turns cold, the pipes in your home can be prone to freezing. You can minimize the chances by ensuring your heat remains on and protecting them with insulation sleeves. During extreme weather, letting interior water drip just a trickle can help reduce the risk of pipes freezing. Disconnect garden hoses and drainpipes connected to outdoor faucets and turn off water for exterior taps and sprinklers.
Shovel walkways – It is important that you keep walkways and driveways clear of ice and snow. You could be liable if someone gets injured on your property. It is also a good idea to salt, as this provides traction and helps prevent ice from forming.
Don’t overload circuits – Consider unplugging non-essential items when not in use to avoid the hazards of a potential fire.
Going away – If you plan on vacationing, make sure somebody regularly checks on your home. Read your policy wordings as some insurers will not cover water/freezing pipe losses if you are away for more than 4 consecutive days, and don’t have a competent person checking on your place daily. Most policies also require you to maintain steady heat in your dwelling during the winter months. Another safeguard is to shut your water off and drain the pipes.
Fireplaces – Chimneys can cause all sorts of problems if they aren’t properly maintained. They should be cleaned annually. Make sure to place the logs towards the back end on a metal grate and use a screen while burning, as it can prevent embers from escaping. Have the perimeter clear of flammables and an extinguisher nearby. Larger fires cause more smoke, and more smoke causes larger creosote formation buildup. It’s best to keep fires small and burn with dry wood.