Another summer is about to come to an all too premature end and the unsettled weather of fall is nearly upon us. A home can take a terrible battering over the course of the year, as mother nature does her best to wreak havoc. Wind, rain, hail and snow can damage a roof, windows and even the foundations of a home. Performing vital maintenance during the throes of winter can be difficult, so completing them during the early part of fall could be the best way to prepare for the deteriorating weather. Protecting your home from the elements could also prevent insurance claims in the future, and over time, that could lead to a reduction in your premiums.
Perform a Few Quick Checks
A home’s gutters are critical in keeping water away, so any blockages and leaks should be attended to straight away. In many cases, this is simply a case of removing leaves and debris, but if you’re not comfortable on a ladder, there are professional services that will take care of this for you.
While you’re clearing gutters, check the roof for damage and missing tiles, and if you have a TV aerial or satellite dish, make sure it is fixed properly. A loose fitting fixture can come away in high winds, and that can lead to significant damage to your home’s roof.
It is also a good idea to walk around your home, looking for obvious signs of wear and tear. If it is made from brick, look for loose or cracked rendering and have it repaired before water can find its way in. Attend to any repairs immediately - they could lead to far bigger problems when the weather worsens.
Hire Professionals for Major Work and Servicing
If you have gas powered heating, have your system checked by a state registered engineer. Wood burners and chimneys should also be serviced in readiness for a prolonged period of cold weather. If you live in a state that gets particularly cold during winter, you are likely to be using indoor heating for several weeks. It is vital that you fit smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and check them on a daily basis.
Plan for the Worst
Of course, no matter how many precautions are taken, the winter weather can always throw up a few surprises. It is always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place. Keep your Fredericksburg home insurance documents close at hand, plan alternative exit routes with the rest of your family, and make sure you know exactly where your water, gas and electricity shut-off valves are located. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on local weather reports throughout the fall and winter, so you can react before it’s too late. As part of your emergency plan, devise a list of emergency telephone numbers, including contact details of electricians, plumbers, gas engineers and builders.
Being prepared for bad weather, reacting quickly and performing the necessary maintenance can help to protect your home from damage, but it can also help to keep your home insurance premiums to a minimum. If you have any questions on home insurance, call Tabitha E Walker Insurance Agency at 540-657-5633 and one of our experienced agents will be happy to assist you.