As summer draws to a close, it’s time to jump on your autumn project list to get your home prepped for colder weather and protected from potential losses.
Now that summer days are behind us, it’s time to take a look at your fall home to-do list. With the help of The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, here are several property loss prevention tips and tricks you should act on to maintain your home can keep you warm this winter. We recommend paying special attention to these potential problem areas.
Clean your gutters.
Remove leaves and other debris from your gutters first by hand to get rid of the large particles, and then with a scraping tool and water hose before cold weather arrives. This helps to prevent overflows and ice damming. Ice dams are caused when snow melts on a heated part of the roof, then refreezes on a colder portion of the roof. This creates a dam and allows water to back up under the shingles, causing damage to insulation and interior ceilings or walls. Read more about ice dams and prevention tips.
Clear your downspouts.
Be sure that your downspouts are clear of debris for full flow capacity. Then, make sure downspouts properly guide the water away from the home. It’s recommended to direct downspouts at least six feet from the foundation.
Block potential drafts.
Don’t let colder weather cause a colder home. Use door sweeps and caulk to block drafty areas of the home from the winter cold. Common areas for these include recess lighting areas, electrical outlets, door frames, and windows.
Check your chimney.
It’s good practice to have your furnace and chimney checked and cleaned annually. Be sure to change your furnace filter regularly; every three months is typical. If you haven’t yet, replace that summer filter and get ready for fall.
Vacuum your air ducts.
This doesn’t have to be an annual activity, but it is a good idea to get your air ducts professionally vacuumed every few years. This helps to make sure that heated air passes through with no obstacles and ensures efficient distribution throughout your home.
Swap out screens.
No need to keep up screens you won’t use all winter. Fall is the perfect time to remove screens and put up storm windows. You can even add weatherstripping to seal out cold air, increasing your furnace’s efficiency.
Reverse your fans.
It’s easy to overlook, but it’s important to reverse the circulation of your ceiling fans. As you fire up the furnace for the heating season, reverse your ceiling fan blades to rotate clockwise, creating an updraft that forces warm air down into the room. This can provide additional energy savings.
Winterize your pipes.
There’s no point risking a burst pipe down the road. Adding insulation now can help prevent pipes from freezing later and causing breaks and water damage. Read more about preventing property damage from frozen pipes.
Don’t wait on getting your house winter-ready. Autumn is an important time to take action on these property loss prevention tips to keep you protected all fall and winter. And, if you have any questions about whether or not you’re covered in the event of a potential loss, contact the Feltner Group to discuss your situation and get our guidance on insurance coverage.