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As winter is quickly approaching, now is the time of year to start preparing for the cold.  Whether your home is prone to unexpected problems or not, it is recommended that you take the necessary precautions to mitigate these occurrences.  Some of the best ways to prepare your home (and what’s in it) for winter this year is:

1.  Clean and stow your mower correctly so that it does not cause damage to the engine.

2.  Check your heating system to ensure that it is properly running and maintained.

3.  Restock on key winter essentials such as a shovel, snow blower, rock salt, gloves, hats, etc. (especially in colder areas).

4.  Reverse your ceiling fans if all possible – since heat rises it will allow heat to remain at an appropriate level.

5.  Drain irrigation system to prevent freezing or bursting lines.

6.  Test your sump pump to make sure that it is running properly.

7.  Insulate water pipes in your basement, crawlspace, or exterior water pipes.

8.  Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through pipes in susceptible areas during cold spells.  Opening cabinet doors to allow air circulation can also help. 

9.  Clean out your gutters to help prevent ice dams.

10.  Check your roof by hand or with a drone to make sure that everything is still in tack and secure (shingles, siding etc).

11.  Divert water by running additional spouts to prevent damage to the foundation of your home.

12.  Caulk windows and door frames that appear to have any gaps that are larger than a thumbnail.

13.  Disconnect and drain outside hoses.

14.  Turn off exterior faucets to prevent freezing or bursting pipes.

15.  Consider turning off and draining the water system if your home will be unattended for an extended amount of time.

16.  Trim any tree branches hanging over your roof and clean any off any debris.

17.  Check your chimney and have it cleaned out if necessary.  Keep the flue closed when not in use.

As you can see there are various ways as a homeowner in which you can mitigate the chances of these unexpected problems from occurring throughout winter months.  Of course this is not a complete list of precautions.  Make sure to hire a qualified professional to help with these type tasks if you are not comfortable doing so yourself. 

As an independent insurance agency we want to make sure you are aware of the best ways to help protect you and your family along with provide a stable and safe shelter.  Don’t let this year’s winter catch you off guard by taking advantage of these key winter preparation recommendations.  If you ever have any questions about your insurance policy or if there is anything else we can do please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (843) 839-9229, we are always here to help. 

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