Is Your Home Covered When Winter Hits?

According to the Farmer’s Almanac predictions for bitterly cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls in many parts of the U.S. are right in line so far, so be prepared.  Blizzards, ice storms, and other winter weather will abound, so make sure your home is covered.  Damage can occur to roofs and pipes, so check what may be covered below and use the great tips to prevent damage.

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During frigid temperatures, water damage can occur if your pipes are not properly insulated or if there are cracks or leaks.  As long as you haven’t left your home unoccupied and cold, most home insurance covers repairs for:

  1.  The broken pipe
  2.  Water damage in your home
  3.  Water damage to furnishings

As a preventive measure, make sure to keep your home warm.  Set your thermostat for at least 65 degrees, because the temperature inside the walls where pipes are located is significantly colder and setting your thermostat at a lower temperature will not prevent your pipes from freezing.  If your pipes do freeze, know where your pipes are and learn how to shut the water off.  Time is of the essence so, quickly shut off the water and point your plumber to the problem.  You will have greater success in preventing the pipes from bursting if you do this.

During heavy snowfalls, snow and ice can accumulate in your gutters and on your roof.  Some of the following damage can occur and should be covered in a standard homeowner’s policy:

What’s covered when water leaks through your roof:

  1.  Water damage to your home
  2. Water damage to your furnishings

What’s covered on a roof cave-in due to the weight of the snow:

  1.  Damage caused by the weight of ice, snow or sleet

What’s covered if your gutters are clogged with ice:

  1.  Damage to ceilings and walls from water leaks.

Ways to help prevent a snow and ice problem with your roof:  Make sure to remove leaves, branches and other debris, so that when snow melts it can move freely.  This prevents ice from clogging the gutters and causing water to seep into the house and drip from the ceiling and walls.  Also, add extra insulation to your attic.  If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof.  This water can re-freeze and cause more ice to build up and result in a collapsed roof.  The attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air.

Check your homeowner’s policy and make sure what damage is covered due to winter storms.  If you have any questions, please call your agent at Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency.  We would be glad to answer any questions you have.