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Here's how to prepare your home interior for the coming winter months.
  • Keep the house warm. Set the thermostat no lower than 65 degrees to keep pipes from freezing inside the walls of your house, where temperatures can be much colder. 
  • Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. Water then can refreeze, leading to more ice build-up—and even ice dams that can damage your roof. Well-insulated basements and crawl spaces will also help protect pipes, and you may also consider insulating garages and other unfinished areas to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Provide a reliable back-up power source. In the event of a power outage, continuous power will keep you warm and help to prevent frozen pipes, or a frozen battery operated sump-pump. Consider purchasing a portable generator to ensure safety. (Note: Be sure to follow all guidelines for safe operation of portable power generators.)
  • Have your heating system serviced. Furnaces, boilers and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage.
  • Check pipes. Look closely for the presence of cracks and leaks, and have them repaired immediately. Pipes in attics and crawl spaces should be protected with insulation or plug-in heating cable.  When purchasing heating cable, be sure to select UL®-listed models with built-in thermostats to turn on the heat on when it is needed. And always follow manufacturers instructions closely.
  • Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect the system against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
  • Remove combustible items placed near any hart sources. This includes wood stoves and space heaters.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Not only do residential fires increase in the winter, but so does carbon monoxide poisoning—so check that your detectors are in working condition on a regular basis.
  • Learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located. If your pipes freeze, time is of the essence. The quicker you shut off water or direct your plumber to the problem, the better your chance of preventing major damage.
  • Hire a licensed contractor to look for structural damage. (And have all necessary repairs performed as soon as possible.) Also, inquire about measures to prevent flooding from melted snow and ice runoff. Plastic coatings for internal basement walls, sump pumps and other improvements can prevent water damage to your home and belongings.

Szerlip & Co look to provide information on various aspects of insurance to secure your home, auto or business. Call today at 973-467-0400 to speak to one of our homeowners insurance professionals or email us your questions.

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1 Comments

Ben Allen said...
I appreciate the tips on preparing your home for winter. I completely agree that it is important for you to do all you can to prepare your home for winter, otherwise it could cause a huge problem and cost lots of money. My sisters heating system went out in their house and it cause a large problem in their home during the winter, not to mention it was just cold. I will share this information with them on how to prepare better for winter. http://conifergutter.com/products/de-icing-heat-cables/
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 2016 11:24 AM

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