December 20, 2021

Winter can be very tough on a home, especially if you have not taken the necessary steps to prepare for the harsh weather right around the corner. Don’t wait – protect your home against the elements before temperatures drop any lower.

Below, we’ve outlined some proactive steps you can take to prep your home for winter:

The U.S. Department of Energy suggests boosting your home’s efficiency to protect it from common damages associated with winter weather:

  • Bring in a professional service provider to prepare your air conditioner, water, fuel, vent, and all other systems and pipes.
  • Consider replacing normal doors and windows with stormproof products.
  • Getting your furnace serviced, and change out filters that were used last winter.
  • Using weather-stripping and caulk to seal up any air drafts or leaks, which are most common in attics, crawl spaces, and basements.

To help prevent flooding both in the home and on your property, you will need to properly prep your roof and irrigation system. Here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Clear all gutters of leaves and other debris before the first snowfall, and if possible, be sure to remove all snow from the roof during times of very heavy precipitation.
  • If you have a sloped roof, ice dams can form and cause severe damage to home structures such as the roof gutters, attic, and interior walls. One of the best ways to avoid ice dams is to keep your attic and roof cool with adequate insulation and ventilation.
  • Always make sure the roof’s drain pipes are pointed away from the house and that your irrigation system and lawn have been winterized to avoid excess damage.

Unfortunately, being proactive sometimes isn’t enough. Selective and your agent can help you secure a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance policy today. Flood insurance provides valuable protection for your home and contents. You will also enjoy access to unique resources and tools, including a self-service website and superior claims expertise.

With colder weather comes an increased risk of frozen pipes. If you find yourself impacted by frozen pipes, you must thaw the pipes as soon as possible to avoid any serious property damage. Below, we’ve outlined some helpful guidelines on how to safely thaw frozen pipes:

  • To relieve water pressure from your water supply lines, immediately turn off the water supply to that section of the property.
  • Open a faucet to reduce the risk of further ice build-up in the frozen pipes
  • Use space heaters to thaw the pipe, while following best practices for space heater safety.
  • Don’t hesitate to call a plumbing professional if you can’t find the source of the frozen pipe(s).

Once you’re comfortable with your house prep for winter, it’s time to turn to the equally as important – but often forgot about – garage. A poorly maintained attached garage in the winter can lead to energy loss in your home and an increased risk of frozen pipes, while cold temperatures in a detached garage make for an uncomfortable place to work and a hazard to any stored items.

To help combat potentially hazardous fluctuations in temperature, consider insulating your garage, including the doors.