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Avoid Winter-Related Claims
Winter’s frigid temperatures can be hard on your house. In fact, winter-related insurance claims total about $1 billion nationwide. Here are some steps you can take to avoid two common problems.
An ice dam occurs when snow melts and runs down your roof, only to freeze when it hits the cold eave. That creates a dam, and subsequent melt pools on the uphill side of the dam, where it gets under the shingles and into your house, causing damage to ceilings and walls.
You can protect against ice dams by keeping the space under the roof – usually the attic – as cold as possible so the snow doesn’t melt. To do this, you should:
- Add insulation to the attic floor to keep heat from your home out of your attic.
- Install ridge and soffit vents to allow cold air to circulate under the roof.
- Cap or seal your attic hatch or whole house fan by enclosing them with foil-faced foam board insulation and aluminum tape.
- Install sealed insulation recessed lights, which can be covered with insulation. Older recessed lights cannot be insulated without causing a fire hazard.
- Seal and insulate ductwork.
If you have ice damming, contact a roofer to remove the snow and ice from the roof.
If the water in your pipes freezes, the pipes can burst – causing significant damage when they thaw and water pours into your house. To avoid that:
- Make sure that your thermostat is set at at least 60 degrees when very cold weather is forecast.
- Open cabinet and other doors to plumbing that runs along exterior walls, so that warm air from the room can get to the pipes.
- Let water run very slowly from a tap on the top floor of your house, because running water freezes later than still water.
- If you are away from home for a long time in winter, turn off the water to your house.
If you suspect you have a frozen pipe, call a plumber as soon as possible.
Of course, it is important to make sure that your homeowners insurance is sufficient to cover any losses you might have. At The Bensman Group, we are happy to talk to you about your insurance needs. You can contact us at 847-572-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.