During the cold winter months, your homeowners insurance can be hit with claims that normally wouldn’t occur at other times of the year. Regular maintenance is part of owning a home. Taking care of your property is the best way to prevent the most common winter claims, although some may occur at any time of year. Let’s look at some of the ways to prevent common winter homeowners insurance claims.
Ways to Tackle Most Common Winter Homeowners Insurance Claims
The following claims are preventable in many situations, if you catch them early.
Avoiding Damage Caused by Ice Dams
Ice dams are incredibly common on roofs that have clogged gutter systems. When gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, water can become trapped. As it freezes, it can start to form a ridge or “dam” of ice. As the dam of ice continues to grow, it can push on the shingles, raising them up and allowing water to seep underneath. When the temperature rises and the ice melts, the water will begin to seep into your home and cause extensive water damage. To avoid ice dams, have your gutters cleaned thoroughly and make sure that water can flow freely away from the foundation of your home.
Avoiding Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common cause of water damage. Freezing temperatures for a prolonged period can cause the water flowing through your pipes to freeze. As water freezes, it expands and causes your pipes to burst. You can prevent frozen pipes by adding a little extra insulation in areas where pipes are located. You can also invest in heat tape that can be wrapped around your pipes to keep them warm when temps begin to drop.
Avoiding a Roof Collapse
While snow looks light and fluffy, it can become quite heavy as it continues to accumulate. Wet snow, the kind that sticks together to make snowballs, can be extremely heavy as it starts to collect on your roof. If snow is allowed to collect for long periods, the extreme weight can stress your roof beyond its breaking point, causing it to collapse. Inspecting your roof every year will allow you to make any repairs that may be needed to keep your roof strong. It’s also a good idea to clear snow off of your roof periodically before it becomes too heavy.
Avoiding Tree Fall Damage
The weight of snow on tree branches can stress them to their breaking point. High winds that often accompany cold fronts and strong winter storms can increase their risk of breaking. Even small tree branches can cause extensive damage if they are weighted down with snow. Before temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, have an arborist inspect your trees. They can remove dead or damaged limbs and trim your branches, so they are stronger and less likely to break if strong winds begin to blow.
Avoiding Winter Fires
More house fires occur in the winter than they do during any other time of year. Space heaters, gas stoves, candles, blocked chimneys, and poorly maintained heating systems are leading causes of house fires. Keeping a fully charged fire extinguisher in your home is one of the best ways to keep a small fire from getting out of control. Make sure flammable materials are kept away from open flames. Have your space heaters, chimneys, and heating systems properly cleaned and inspected. Fires are often preventable if you take simple precautions.
Consult Pierce Insurance Group to Cover Your Home Against Winter Claims
If you live in Texas, you rarely think of how winter will affect your home. The fact is, Texas isn’t immune to cold temps and can be responsible for many types of damage that can result in homeowners insurance claims. Contact the agents at Pierce Insurance Group to learn more about how you can protect your home and reduce your risk of winter-related homeowners insurance claims.