Protecting Your Home from Winter Storms
Winter storms. They can bring sheer joy to young children looking for a snow day, but severe pain to homeowners who must deal with the damage they can create. It's something homeowners in New England and elsewhere experienced firsthand in 2015 when record-breaking snowstorms resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.
Though you can't fully predict when a storm will strike; you can take these proactive steps to protect your home — and your budget — from costly damages:
- Prevent ice dams. Ice damns can be a leading cause of winter home damage. An ice dam occurs when heat from the home's inside causes water to melt on the roof and then refreeze near the roof edges, preventing water from draining properly from the roof. One way to prevent ice dams from forming is to keep your attic temperature low by sealing any leaks to the house. You can also prevent ice dams by increasing ventilation and adding insulation.
- Trim branches. Hanging or falling branches can land on your home causing damage.
- Remove snow from your roof. You can do so by investing in a good roof rake. For steeper, higher-to-reach roofs, consider having a roofing company shovel it for you.
- Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear. Prior to snowstorms, ensure that your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris.
- Insulate pipes. To avoid pipes from bursting, be sure to cover exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation. You should also check your pipes for cracks and leaks and make necessary repairs.
- Seal outside cracks. Check the outside of your home for cracks and use caulking to seal them.
One of the most important steps is to ensure you have proper insurance coverage. Contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage limits and other measures you can take to ensure your home is protected.