Protect Your Home From Winter Damage

Winterize Your Home Checklist

When the temperatures start to drop, minimize the potential risks to your home.

Winterize Your Home

Did you know fall is the best time to winterize your home? Ice, snow and wind can have a devastating impact on your home. When temperatures drop dramatically and the snow flies in North Dakota, you’ll be glad to have taken these simple measures to safeguard your family, your household budget, and your home.

Dakota Community Bank & Trust Insurance Agent Andrew Emard wants to remind people that while “You can’t prevent winter storms, you can mitigate the risk to your wallet by doing such things as draining and disconnecting all hoses, getting your sprinkler lines drained and inspecting your roof for weak areas.”

To minimize your liability risks, here are some additional precautions you can take:

Eight Tips to Winterize the Inside of Your Home

  1. Add necessary extra insulation where needed.
    1. This may include attics, basements, crawl spaces, and garages. Not only can this help with ice build up on roofs, it can also help to protect your pipes and keep them from freezing.
  2. Prep for a reliable back-up power source.
    1. In case of a power outage, you will want to have a power source to keep you and your family warm. A portable generator can help ensure the safety of your family and help prevent frozen pipes.
  3. Have your heating system serviced before the cold hits.
    1. Call your local HVAC service provider to have your furnace serviced at least once a year. This is to prevent potential fire and smoke damage.
  4. Check that fireplaces, wood stoves, and electric heaters are working properly.
  5. Check pipes closely for cracks and leak and have repaired immediately.
  6. Move any combustible items away from heat sources.
    1. This may include fireplaces, wood stoves, or space heaters.
  7. Install/update batteries on any carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to make sure they are in proper working condition.
  8. Consider insuring yourself for sewer backup issues.
    1. Flooding related to spring snow melting can sometimes overburden sewer systems causing damage to the inside of homes. Sewer backup is not covered under a standard homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy. For any questions on sewer backup insurance, please contact your local Dakota Community Bank & Trust insurance agent.

Seven Tips to Winter Weather Prep the Outside Your Home

  1. Clean out your gutters and install gutter guards. During the winter, watch for ice dams in the downspouts.
    1. Cleaning out gutters and downspouts of both leaves and ice will help runoff flow freely so that water build up will not seep into your home.
  2. Trim trees and remove dead, damaged or dangerous branches.
    1. North Dakota winds could cause trees or branches to break free potentially causing damage to your home or injuring someone.
  3. Repair any stairs and handrails, and keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice.
  4. Seal cracks and wall openings.
    1. Use caulking or weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent cold air and moisture from entering your home this winter.
  5. Keep your house heated to at least 65 degrees to ensure pipes located within your walls will not freeze.
  6. Keep your garage doors closed to prevent weather damage to your property stored inside. It also assists in keeping the heat in your garage.
  7. Ask a neighbor to check on your house any time you are away for an extended period of time.
    1. If the pipes in your home were to freeze, or there would be a water leak, swift action could be taken to mitigate potential home damages.

Standard homeowners polices should cover most hazards that result from severe cold weather and freezes. Though it is likely you are covered for deep freeze disasters if you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, if you are unsure what is covered or not covered under your current policy, please contact your local Dakota Community Bank & Trust insurance agent.

In the event of a problem, call your insurance professional as soon as possible. He or she will help you to understand what is covered by your current policy and familiarize yourself with the claims filing process.

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