Help and Tips to avoid Homeowners Insurance Claims in the Winter Months

As the colder weather approaches this week, it is time to think about the damage that it can cause to your home. Reducing the chance for damage reduces the chance of needing to file a homeowners insurance claim.  A few simple, routine home maintenance activities will go a long way toward helping you avoid costly problems.

MAXIMIZE ENERGY SAVINGS

  • Check windows and doors for leaks that may compromise heating efficiency.
  • Look closely at window and door frames for cracks or feel for cool air coming in.
  • Seal leaks or cracks with caulk, weather stripping or door sweeps.
  • If necessary, purchase a plastic sheeting kit and place plastic around the windows to keep heat from escaping.
  • Install a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one.
  • Inspect heating ducts and vents, and dust off or clear away anything that may have gotten into them over the summer months.
  • If your windows or doors are aged and in bad shape, consider installing newer models designed to maximize energy efficiency.

PREPARE YOUR HEATING SYSTEM

Heating and cooling account for 47% of all energy costs in the home. You need to make sure your furnace and insulation are working as efficiently as possible.

  • Have a professional tune your furnace in order to reduce temperature variations, improve air quality and protect against dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
  • Change the air filter in your furnace every month during the winter.
  • Have your chimney checked by a professional chimney sweep who can evaluate the condition of your chimney and clean it if necessary.
  • Be sure the fireplace damper closes tightly, to prevent drafts.
  • Clean and clear your fireplace before lighting the first fire of the season.

INSPECT YOUR ROOF

Cracked, broken or missing roof shingles leave your home exposed to the elements and can cause a great deal of damage, especially during the winter months.

  • Check for signs of sagging or shingles that have curled.
  • Replace any damaged or missing shingles.