Even in Texas, the winter weather can be harsh to say the least, and it can take a heavy toll on a home that hasn’t been prepared for it. As temperatures start to cool down a little, fall will soon be here. This time is the perfect time to inspect your home for small problems that could develop when the winter weather finally arrives. Preparing your home for winter will not only protect you and your family from the elements, but it will also keep your insurance provider happy.
Check Your Roof and Insulation
Take a good look at your roof and identify any missing tiles or shingles. If it’s a flat roof, you should remove any leaves, pine needles and debris immediately, as they can harbor moisture. If you can get onto the roof, you can perform a close inspection yourself. If you’re not comfortable doing that, a good pair of binoculars could work. However, it may be worth paying a local roofing contractor to perform a full inspection.
A big problem during cold winter weather is the formation of ice dams and icicles. They can cause melted water to flow back into your home, leading to structural and mold problems. Hire an energy auditor or roofing contractor to identify possible air leaks and deficient insulation in your attic, as they can be the cause of ice dams and icicles.
Clean Your Gutters
During the course of late summer and fall, your gutters can become blocked with leaves, vegetation and general debris. This can lead to leaks, ice dams and the flow of water back into your home. Clearing guttering is a relatively simple job, but if you’re not up to it, a local gutter cleaning service will usually work on an average-sized home for less than $200.
Turn Off Exterior Faucets
Turn off any exterior faucets you might have before sub-zero temperatures arrive. Any undrained water can freeze and expand, and that can lead to serious flooding which you may not be insured for.
Test Your Sump Pump
Fill your sump pump with water until it switches on; otherwise, you won’t realize it is in need of repair until your home is flooded. Perform regular checks throughout the fall and winter, and attend to repairs immediately.
Have Your Basic Utilities Checked
Electricity, gas and water are all susceptible to interruption in particularly cold weather, so they should be fully inspected by certified engineers in preparation for winter. Defective cabling, wiring and pipework have been known to cause serious floods, fires and explosions, so ensuring that they are up to the job is essential.
Although you will never be able to fully protect your home from the ravages of winter, performing an annual fall inspection should reduce the chances of major problems when the weather takes a turn for the worse. It will also reduce your chances of making an insurance claim, which is something that could keep your premiums as low as possible.
If you would like to discuss your own Dallas home insurance requirements, give Red Gorman Insurance a call at 214-374-9997, and one of our experienced advisers will be happy to help.