Prep Your Home for Winter (and Stay Claims-Free)
Prepping your home for cold weather isn’t the most fun, but ‘tis the season for claims. In fact, winter is the cause of over half of all insurance claims. We’re looking out for you and your cozy home with this winter prep list.
Let’s Start Outside Your Home
From freezing temps to heavy snow and ice, your home’s exterior is up against a lot. Take these steps to make sure it can handle it all.
1. Check For Overhanging Branches
As the wind picks up, branches start falling. Not a big deal, unless they land on your roof, walkway, or driveway. If you notice any overhanging branches, have them cut back. For your safety — and your home’s.
2. Clean Out Your Gutters
Everything from leaves, to mold, to ice can build up in there. If it’s enough ice, it could weigh down your gutters, causing them to rip away from your house. Not cheap to fix, so be sure to give your gutters some TLC.
3. Salt Your Sidewalk
Ice happens and so do accidents. It’s a good idea to clear not only your driveway, but your sidewalk, too. You’ll protect your neighbors from slips and falls — and save yourself a possible lawsuit (cringe).
Did you know: You can buy extra liability protection. It’s called Umbrella Insurance, and it covers legal fees, damages, and more. Interested? Chat with a Matic agent today.
4. Winterize Outdoor Faucets
It’s a smart idea to turn off any outdoor faucets. Water can freeze in the pipes and cause them to burst. Not. Fun. Turn them off by finding their shutoff valves in your home (look for a round-wheel handle) and turn it clockwise.
Now, Let’s Prep the Inside of Your Home
Once the outside of your home is squared away, it’s time to move indoors. After all, that’s probably where you’ll spend most of your winter days.
1. Insulate Your Pipes
Your home is a maze of pipes. It’s important to keep these warm and insulated, so they don’t freeze or burst. Protect any exposed water pipes with self-seal foam insulation. (Runs $2 to $3 at most hardware stores.)
2. Replace Your Furnace Filter
From pet hair to mold, your furnace filter traps a lot. But it can’t do a good job if it’s dirty. Plus, a badly clogged filter is a fire hazard. Take the time to replace yours throughout the winter to keep your home safe.
3. Check Your Fireplace
Plan on curling up by the fire? We don’t blame you. Just make sure to get a pro to inspect and clean the fireplace and chimney first. You’ll also want to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Tip: If you’ve recently installed a centrally monitored fire alarm system, make sure to let your carrier know. You could get up to a 10% discount on your premium.
4. Check Doors and Windows
Feel a draft? You could re-caulk your windows and doors, apply new weather stripping, or install storm windows and doors. Any one of these moves will help keep your home damage-free and your energy bill low.
Do you have all the coverage you need to take on winter? We’d be happy to review your policy and make sure you’re fully protected. And there’s no cozier feeling than that. If you’re a current Matic customer and have questions, please fill out the form below and our customer service team will get back to you.