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Winterization Tips to Prevent Property Losses

From Katie Greil and Jim Carlson with American Family Insurance

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Winter is coming, and that means it’s time to make sure your home is ready to deal with the cold. Here are a few tips and simple steps to avoid a potential homeowner’s insurance claim.

1. Outside Spickets: Shut off and bleed your outside water spickets. It’s not enough to just turn the faucet off. You have to bleed the pipe of all water by opening the faucet fully after the supply is turned off. This is the MOST COMMON pipe to burst from freeze up.

2. Furnace Maintenance: it is advised to have your furnace serviced annually. This will not only keep the furnace running efficiently, but it will prevent potential “puff back” or furnace claims and will improve the indoor air quality inside the home.

3. Check for Insulation Deficiencies: Heat loss through the attic or ceiling can cause the build-up of ice dams which can lead to water intrusion into the home. Proper insulation in the attic can also prevent condensation claims which can warp roof decking and also add humidity and water to the attic. Also check exterior walls with plumbing for adequate insulation and wrap any exposed pipes on exterior walls with pipe wrap or a heat tape product.

4. Clean your Gutters: Clogged or improperly draining gutter systems are a major contributor to many ice dam claims. When the gutters have standing water in them from being unable to drain, they start the ice build-up as soon as the freezing weather sets in. Even with “maintenance free” gutter guard products, your gutters can and do get clogged. Make sure you check them before the freezing weather really sets in.

Katie Greil, Agent Jim Carlson, Agent
Maple Grove, MN Rogers, MN
763-420-7733 763-428-0199
kgreil@amfam.com jcarlso2@amfam.com