Freezing Weather Ahead: How To Safeguard Your Home And Property
Extreme cold weather can be devastating to your home and property when there are no safety measures in place before they arrive. With freezing temperatures right around the corner, this is the best time to protect your home from the snow and below-freezing temperatures that could cause havoc to your property. In Texas, winter weather can be unpredictable and when severe, it can inflict great damage on homes and create liability risks.
Below are 11 tips you can use to protect your family and your property before the freezing weather hits Texas.
1. Insulate Your Home
Insulating your home before winter is important. Unfortunately, many older homes do not have any insulation, especially in the attic. Insulating your attic, exterior walls, floors, crawl spaces, basements, and the pipes themselves can make a huge difference in winter.
It prevents your pipes from freezing and eliminates cold from your home by conserving heat. It also helps during the summer by keeping the cool air in. A few other tips to prevent frozen pipes in your home include…
● Allow water to drip continuously from the faucets.
● Keep cabinets under your sink open to allow warm air to circulate. Additionally, ensure the cabinet is free from anything that could potentially harm your kids such as household cleaners made from chemicals.
You can also reach out to your local energy utility company. They may offer a free home energy assessment to evaluate your energy usage and what energy-smart investment would be ideal for your home and property.
2. Seal Holes And Other Potential Leaks
Before the freezing weather comes, it is important to seal potential leaks to prevent cold from getting in or heat from getting out. Take time to seal areas around can lights, attic hatch, windows, doors, and even small holes where cable wires pass through.
You can use Great Stuff Spray Foam to seal them up. However, for cracks around your windows and doors, it is best to use weather stripping, caulk foam, or spray foam insulation to close them up.
3. Clean Your Gutters Regularly
Regularly clearing out leaves and other debris from your gutter helps to prevent ice build-up and allows the free flow of water during the winter season. Before the freezing weather sets in, take out time to clean your gutters. You can also use gutter screens to prevent falling leaves from blocking your gutters.
4. Keep Your Home Temperature No Lower Than 65 Degrees
Keeping your temperature way below 65 degrees or above 65 degrees can cause huge problems in your home. If you plan to travel or stay out for a long time, it is best to set your thermostat to a constant temperature between 55° and 65° Fahrenheit. This will prevent pipes from freezing and other disasters that could occur.
Additionally, keeping your temperature between 55° and 65° Fahrenheit will save you a lot of money on heating costs. A big win for you because you'll be able to use the money to sort out other bills. Ensure to use a smart thermostat that can effortlessly alert you to very low temperatures in the home to prevent water damage as a result of broken pipes.
5. Inspect Your Furnace
It is important to inspect your heating systems since they will be running throughout the freezing weather. An inspection can reveal problems that may lead to a house fire.
It is also important to inspect it annually to keep it running efficiently and possibly upgrade it when the need arises. Additionally, do not forget to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) filters once a month.
6. Proper Attic Ventilation
Good attic ventilation and insulation help to prevent ice dams on your roof. You also want to make sure your attic is airtight, as the free flow of air in your attic could prevent warm air from melting the snow and ice on your roof.
7. Eliminate Heavy Branches
Big branches come with lots of problems during winter, especially when they become heavy with snow or blown around in a storm. So ensure to eliminate or trim back heavy branches around your home to prevent property damage when they fall.
8. Close Garage Doors
Limit the amount of time your garage door is open if it is part of your house. This will protect the plumbing fixtures in your garage from freezing weather as well as pipes in the shared walls between your house and the garage. It will also keep cold air out of your home.
9. Run Your Water To Protect Water Pipes From Freezing
It is common to have frozen pipes when the outside temperature falls below 20° Fahrenheit during the winter. To prevent this, you have to set your faucets to a slow drip. In other words, just keep the water running.
Remember that pipes and faucets located along exterior walls are more susceptible to freezing and it is also best to drip both hot and cold water lines to prevent frozen pipes.
10. Use Leak Detection Technology
The loss caused by water damage can be traumatic especially when it affects our most valuable assets. That is why investing in flow-based water leak detection technology or a water monitoring system is very crucial.
They detect the smallest of leaks and alert you to shut down the water system before any damage occurs.
11. Keep Safe Walkways
In the face of cold weather, it is important to keep the outside of your house safe by melting the ice from the walkways. This will prevent people from slipping while passing by. You can use a simple mixture of salt and warm water to melt the ice. This will save you time and cost as well.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover In the Winter?
Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by snow and ice when things go south during the winter season.
If your house becomes uninhabitable as a result of the damage, and you need a place to stay such as a hotel, your policy will also cover the additional living expenses until your house is fully repaired.
Below are the different types of winter damage covered by standard homeowners insurance.
• Broken or burst pipes
• Damage from the weight of accumulated snow on your house and other insured property
• Damage caused by the wind to your house and other insured property
• Ice damage
• Damage resulting from falling slow and freezing rain
• Damage from fallen tree branches.
When To Contact Your Texas Insurance Claim Attorneys
Damage caused by snow, wind, and ice during winter can be disastrous, leaving properties worth millions of dollars damaged. When these ugly incidents arise, we expect insurance companies to support and give policyholders all the compensation they need to recover their losses; however, it is not always the case as many insurers look for various reasons to deny claims. If you need help, or if you have questions about an insurance claim that has been denied, delayed, or underpaid, you can learn more today by reaching out to us at Voss Law Firm today at 1-888-614-7730.