This is the perfect time to plan and begin projects around your home for the changing season and weather, especially outdoors. We are often reminded by insurance claims that better preparation and less procrastination may have saved both money and headaches for many homeowners.
Cold winter weather will be upon us quickly, not doing the necessary work today to prepare your home will literally leave you out in the cold scrambling later. We recommend that you take care of these important items. That way, when winter comes you can be sitting warmly inside your home with the peace of mind that everything has been taken care of already.
Check Your Winter Supplies
There always seems to be a shortage when you really need something, now is the time to pull out the winter shovels and ice scrapers from storage to see if they are in need of repair or replacement. We recommend that every vehicle have a winter emergency kit, be sure to replace batteries in flashlights and pack a warm blanket just in case. We also suggest you purchase a supply of windshield washer fluid suitable for winter temperatures in your area. Check the level of wood stocked for the winter if you burn, and if you are the fortunate owner of a snow blower get it serviced and make a trip to the gas station to replenish gas cans.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
We shared videos on social media on how best to clean your gutters and downspouts around the perimeter of your home, this is a major must to help prevent water damage. We recommend washing water through all areas at cleaning to ensure adequate flow away from the house. Be sure to be safe, use your ladder properly and consider an extension on your hose with a durable angled wand.
Turn Off Water Lines
Freezing leads to damage and costly repairs, pipes which lead outdoors need to be shut off and drained. The garden hose should also be drained and stored away to keep it protected from the winter elements.
Trees on Property
Taking the time for pruning of trees will help to avoid falling limbs and damaging branches which can be detrimental to rooftops, decks or even your automobile. Strong winter winds are unavoidable, but trimming dead sections from your trees will help to ensure that unwanted damage is kept to a minimum.
Make Walkways, Stairs and Driveways Winter Safe
Loose steps, raised pavement or deteriorating landscapes lead to winter mishaps that could have been avoided. Do repairs now, once the ground is covered in snow you have no idea what hazards lie beneath.
Home Heating Maintenance
We recommend you contact a professional to complete the cleaning of your chimney and air ducts throughout the home, a timely service on your furnace should be on your checklist as well.
We never like to hear of damage to your home, be it summer or winter. Take the necessary precautions whenever possible to always ensure your home is ready and properly prepared for the changing seasons. We understand that it becomes too easy to put this work off until another day, but the time you invest now in keeping your home protected will pay dividends in the long run. No one likes to encounter unexpected costs or repair, keep your damage to a minimum by reducing the chance of risk everywhere possible.
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance Manager – Sales, Marketing & Business Development
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.