Winter is Coming

It’s already here but is your home or business ready for the extreme cold?

Winter is Coming.

With the impending deep freeze on the way, home and business owners should prepare prior to the extreme cold. Cold weather emergencies and severe damage can happen and may put a damper on your dreams of warming up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.

You may not be able to take every step listed below preventatively, however, by being aware of the havoc that extreme temperatures may cause, you will be an educated property owner with the gift of knowledge on your side.

Here are crucial steps you can take to minimize a potential disaster:

  • Repair roof leaks and clear rain gutters to prevent ice dams which can form and cause your gutters to clog.
  • Remove tree branches that could fall on your house or other structures during a storm. If you have older trees, it’s a wise idea to have an arborist inspect any suspicious trees.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year. The chimney is the highest point of the house so it is likely to have the most damage with high winds or heavy rain during a storm.
  • Hire a contractor or engineer to check the structural ability of your roof to withstand heavy weight from the accumulation of snow, ice or water.
  • Clear drains both on the ground and on upper level decks of debris and leaves.
  • Make sure to insulate pipes. Pipes that are exposed to exterior walls and areas that are not heated could freeze.
  • Insulate walls and attics, caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, and install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
  • Allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing pipes.
  • Fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and make sure to keep the area around the vent clear.
  • and furniture. Some space heaters, especially taller ones, may tip over, potentially causing a fire hazard.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. Your fire extinguisher doesn’t last forever so replace an older model. Manufacturers suggest replacing them after 5-15 years.
  • Learn how to shut off water in your home in the event a pipe burst. Teach your family how to shut off your water in case you are away during a storm.
  • If you have a vacation home or will be away from your home for an extended period, be sure to drain the pipes and winterize the plumbing. Maintain the heat at 60 degrees.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse to circulate warm air.

If you experience structural damage of water damage resulting from a storm or extreme cold, call Clarke & Cohen at 610-668-0144 to help you navigate your insurance claim. Our team of experts will respond immediately and provide personalized service 24 hours a day/7 days a week to resolve your residential or business insurance claim.