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Shoveling Snow in DrivewayWinter can bring all types of adverse weather, from biting cold, to wind, to snow and ice.

With increased changes of bad weather, your risk for home damages rise. You likely have heard of spring cleaning, but you shouldn't forget to get your home ready for winter.

Often, your home insurance policy can help you repair damages from winter weather. However, home insurance coverage may not pay for damages that you could have prevented.

You should always take steps to prepare your home for winter. Here are five tips to follow as you take on this task.

1. Check Your Pipes

Cold weather can cause exposed piping to shift, freeze, leak and even burst. If you know of any plumbing risks, you should have them repaired well before winter.;

You should also find ways to warm exposed pipes to keep them from freezing. You can keep a source of heat on the pipes or wrap them with appropriate insulation. You should even keep a small stream of water traveling through the pipes. It is very hard for moving water to freeze.

2. Protect Your Heating Systems

People generally use more heat and electricity during cold weather. If you have a faulty electrical system or a malfunctioning heater, you raise your risks of catastrophic failures, and even fires. Have these systems inspected and replaced before cold weather sets in.

If you have a chimney, you should have it cleaned before you light a fire. A dirty chimney can clog with debris that could easily start a house fire.

3. Reinforce Your Roof

As a roof ages, it faces increased risks of damage or collapse from snow and similar issues. You should have a roof replaced roughly every 25 years. The type of materials used to build the roof determine the lifespan. If there are any developing problems with the roof, you should have them addressed.

4. Check the Structure

Foundations can shift in winter conditions as topsoil freezes and thaws. Houses can settle and foundation cracks can form at any time. If you live in an older home, this risk rises. Home insurance may not pay for damages that might have been prevented by foundation maintenance.

If you fear that structural issues may get worse in the winter, have your structure checked. You should also make sure that seals around windows and walls are secure. Not only can this prevent damages from developing, but it can also save you money on your heating bills.

5. Prepare Outside

Don't just prepare inside, prepare outside. Cut back trees and branches to keep them from falling onto your roof during inclement weather. Clean your sidewalks to reduce the risks of falls. Make sure that you clean away ice and debris from your roof as soon as it is safe to do so. You should even inspect outdoor appliances and prepare them for any potential threats.

There are many ways that you can prepare your home for the winter. By doing so, you can make sure that you lower the risk of having to put in a home insurance claim.

Our home insurance options are wide-ranging. Call Fleming & Riles Insurance at (800) 833-4379 for a free Georgia home insurance quote.
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