Tips to Protect Outside Your Home This Winter

Consider These Smart Options For Winter-Proofing

Many winter-related disasters can be prevented if you take a few simple steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, snow and wind. With the weather still relatively mild, this is the perfect time to winter-proof your home, says the Insurance Information Institute.

“According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 10-percent of all catastrophic losses are the result of winter storms,” says Clyde Douglas, Vice President of Claims for Encompass Insurance.

Douglas urges all homeowners to prepare for winter by using the following five tips by the institute to protect the outside of your home.

* * *

Outside your home:

Clean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from gutters, so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damning — a condition where water is unable to drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house, causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls.

Install gutter guards. Available in most hardware and home stores, “gutter guards” prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.

Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind could cause weak trees or brances to break — damaging your home or car, as well as injuring someone walking on your property.

Repair steps and handrails. This may prevent someone from falling and seriously being injured. Broken stairs and banisters can become lethal when covered with snow and ice.

Seal cracks in holes in outside walls and foundations. Use caulking to protect water pipes and make sure that skylights and other roof openings have proper weather stripping to prevent snowmelt from seeping in.

“If you are going to be away for an extended period, take special care,” Douglas says. “Turn the water off and/or have the water system drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting.”

Douglas recommends that you also hire someone to check your home on a regular basis.

“If there’s a problem, it can be fixed quickly – lessening any damage.”

For more information regarding  policies available t0 help protect you from risk over the winter, please contact a Gunn Mowery representative today. You can reach us by e-mail at info@gunnmowery.com, or toll-free at (800) 840-1243. You can also become our Facebook fan at www.Gunnmowery.com/Facebook, or you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

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