In 2018, 23.8% of homeowners’ insurance claims were for water damage and freezing. These claims resulted in an average settlement payout amounting to $10,849.
Just because you have homeowners’ insurance doesn’t mean your house is “safe,” though. If the freezing damage isn’t accidental, such as if it’s due to a lack of home maintenance, your policy won’t kick in.
This is why it’s crucial to follow a winter home maintenance checklist. Otherwise, you could face uninsured damages worth tens of thousands to repair.
Don’t worry, though, as we’re here to share some of the vital property maintenance steps to take in the winter. Read on so that you can winter-proof your home today!
1. Mind the Gaps and Air Leaks
Pests, including rodents like mice and rats, love to invade homes in the winter to seek warmth and shelter. They can gain access to your home through the tiniest cracks and gaps in windows, doors, and even cable holes.
They can also make their way into your house through your garage door that doesn’t fully close.
So, for your pre-winter home maintenance plan, be sure to seal these gaps. You can use caulking on windows and weather-stripping materials on doors. In doing so, you can also enjoy up to 40% lower energy bills.
If you have a faulty garage door, don’t wait for the snow to fall before you get it fixed by a pro. Otherwise, you may encounter not only ice but also rats and mice inside your home.
2. Set a Date with a Local HVAC Tech in the Fall
Another must-have item on your pre-winter home maintenance checklist is fall HVAC maintenance. Most HVAC techs get really busy during winter, so you want to secure an earlier date with them.
If you put off the maintenance schedule to the last minute, you may end up being heatless for a few days.
Besides, a pre-season tune-up can ensure your space heater is ready to go once you need to turn it on. Early servicing also gives you more time to prepare your heater in case it does need repairs.
3. Snow Proof Your Roof
The average roofing system has a lifespan of between 20 and 50 years, depending on the materials. For instance, asphalt shingles can last for about 20 years, so long as maintained properly. Copper, slate, and tile roofs can last two to two and a half times longer.
However, the sun’s UV rays, precipitation, and winds can cut your roof’s life short. Now, keep in mind that all these environmental factors are present during winter.
As such, make sure to have your roof and gutters inspected and cleaned before the snowy season. You should also have cracked or curling shingles or tiles fixed or replaced. Replacing missing components is also a must to keep your roof watertight.
If you haven’t had your roof waterproofed yet, pre-winter is a good time to do so. Have a roofing contractor apply a roof guard or water-proof sealant to your system.
Winter-Proof Your Abode with This Home Maintenance Guide
Keep in mind that winter comes with detrimental cold-weather hazards, such as hypothermia. Your house is one of the safest havens against these illnesses. However, it can only protect you from such dangers if it (and its components) is in good condition.
So, be sure to follow these home maintenance must-dos as early as today!
Interested in other home improvement tips and tricks like this? Then please feel free to stay to browse our other informative how-to guides!