With the days getting colder and wetter, now is the time to begin preparing your home for the harsher winter conditions ahead. This fall, take these six steps to prevent damage to your property and avoid claims:
CLEAN OR REPLACE YOUR GUTTERS
Your roof's drainage system directs water away from the exterior of your home and foundation walls, and clogged gutters can damage exterior surfaces and cause water to collect in your basement. Clean the gutters and install mesh gutter guards to block debris. Check for rust and corrosion and get gutters replaced if needed.
INSPECT YOUR ROOF
A leaking roof can cause significant, costly damage to the inside of your home and identifying the source can be very time-consuming. Before freezing temperatures hit, take the time this fall to do a thorough inspection of your roof, checking shingles for cracks or wind damage. Large build-up of granules in your gutters can indicate that your roof's coating is deteriorating.
SEAL AIR LEAKS
Check all the windows and doors in your home to make sure that the weather stripping is intact. Gaps in insulation will allow cold air in and drive up your heating bill. Use caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors and electrical cables.
Close shut-off valves and drain the lines to prevent outdoor faucets and in-ground irrigation systems from freezing or bursting. Follow manufacturer instructions for draining and protecting your in-ground irrigation system from winter damage.
CHECK YOUR FURNACE
Hire a professional to inspect your home heating system once a year. The inspection will cover noisy belts, performance issues and faulty thermostats or a misadjusted furnace. To prevent dust buildup from spreading through your home, check your furnace filter and clean it monthly or replace disposable filters.
UPDATE YOUR INSURANCE ADVISOR
Contact your Insurance Advisor to review your home insurance for any gaps in coverage, particularly if there have been any changes or renovations done. They can also provide advice on additional risk management steps you can take to protect your property.
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