Winter is Coming? Nope, It’s Already Here- Brrrr!

  • Post last modified:April 22, 2020
  • Post Category:Insurance

I know I don’t have to tell you that today was easily the coldest day of this late autumn season thus far.  With the wind whipping out there, it really feels like the middle of winter in January or February than it does in the third week of November.  But hey, it’s New England, and the largely unpredictable weather is to be expected!

So with it really feeling like winter today, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss winterizing your home to prepare for the long haul ahead.  We don’t want to see anyone having to file a ct homeowners insurance claim for something that could have been prevented.

Take a look at the checklist below to make sure that you have all of your bases covered before the snow really starts to fly:

AROUND YOUR PROPERTY

  • Check window wells.  Dry wells and storm drains for debris and/or blockage.
  • Repair any driveway cracks and heaved or settled walkways.
  • Trim all trees and shrubs that are too close to the house.
  • Drain and store garden hoses.

HOME EXTERIOR

  • Check for deterioration of painted or finished areas.  If it’s too late for a full paint job, prime and touch-up bare wood surfaces.
  • Caulk and seal all joints in siding, around windows and doors.
  • Check and seal any foundation cracks.
  • Check and replace weatherstripping on exterior doors and windows as needed.
  • Look for any signs of insect or pest activity around the foundation and at wood components close to the ground.

ROOF (Use binoculars or hire a professional.)

  • Check for loose, damaged or missing roof shingles.
  • Check eave areas for signs of moisture build-up or damage.
  • Check the condition of chimneys.
  • Check and clean all gutters and downspouts.

ATTIC

  • Check ventilation openings for nests or other blockage.
  • Check the position and condition of insulation for uniform coverage.
  • Look for any signs of excessive moisture or heat buildup.

INTERIOR ROOMS

  • Check all areas for signs of roof or plumbing leakage.
  • Have any fireplaces or wood stoves and flues checked and professionally cleaned.
  • Reset automatic timers for the change in daylight hours.
  • Check all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if over a year old.
  • Test Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCI’s) using built-in test buttons.

HEATING/COOLING SYSTEMS

  • Clean all elements of the cooling system.
  • Remove (or winterize) room air conditioners.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for the maintenance of your heating system.
  • Change or clean heating system filters on warm air systems (should be checked regularly).
  • Check heating and cooling systems for any evidence of water leaks.
  • If present, clean and test the humidifier.
  • Have your heating system serviced annually by a licensed HVAC service person before the heating season begins in order to keep all units functioning efficiently and properly.

PLUMBING

  • Drain exterior water lines and open taps (in cold areas).
  • Insulate water lines that are subject to freezing.
  • Check the condition and temperature setting of the water heater. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the temperature setting.
  • Check the plumbing system and fixtures for any evidence of water leakage or blocked drains.
  • Confirm proper operation of any sump pumps and free flow of the drain line.