When you leave home in the winter, whether for a quick vacation or a longer stay somewhere warm, you want to return home with fond memories.
Not to an expensive disaster.
Unfortunately, unattended homes are vulnerable to all sorts of cold weather problems, and without someone home to notice, even small issues can become big, expensive problems.
The good news is that you can take steps to avoid burst pipes, leaky roofs and other problems causes by power failures, cold weather and winter storms. Thanks to new technology and old-fashioned common sense, there are many winter weather home protection strategies for when you’re not there. Use these tips to keep your home safe and sound while you’re away.
No Technology Required
Although new technology can alert you to potential problems, these old-school methods can also provide peace of mind.
Pipes and Water
Water damage is one of the biggest potential problems in winter. Not only can a burst pipe or leak cause significant damage, but it can also make a house uninhabitable until the damage is repaired. We recommend the following:
- Drain pipes and shut off water, if possible.
- If pipes cannot be drained, wrap them in insulation to keep them warm.
- Install devices that automatically shut off water if high water flow is detected.
- Turn down water heater.
- Keep cabinet doors under sinks open.
- Keep thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees
Power and Safety
What if the power goes out, and your sump pump no longer works during a storm? How can you deter thieves and prevent potential disasters, such as leaky roofs, damaged equipment from power surges, or other problems? Start by following these tips:
- Invest in a standby generator to power key appliances and systems, like the refrigerator and sump pump.
- Put lights on timers or install smart bulbs controlled by an app.
- Unplug electronics and unessential appliances.
- Clean gutters and storm drains.
- Install a low temperature alarm.
- Have your mail and packages held or collected by a neighbor.
- Install outdoor lights with sensors or timers.
- Hire a snow removal service.
- Close the damper or flue on your fireplace.
Above all, don’t post your travels on social media. Advertising your absence tells thieves that your house and belongings are vulnerable. Ask a neighbor to check your house periodically to make sure everything looks okay. And relax and enjoy the peace of mind, as well as the warm weather, if you leave for an extended vacation during the winter.
We hope you found this article interesting. If you have any questions about insurance or your current insurance policy, or would like a free insurance review, please call us at 877-576-5200.