Wisconsin winters can be quite unpredictable — from blustering winds to below freezing temps to heavy snowfalls that yield the opposite of a wonderland. During this time of year, it is extremely important for homeowners to be mindful of the potential dangers caused by snow, ice, wind, and other natural elements.
In the event of a brutal winter storm, here are a few ways to make sure your home stays protected from harm.
Check your home’s exterior – roof, windows, doors and siding
Rather than risking personal injury, it is best to hire a roofing contractor to inspect your roof after a winter storm. Professionals have the necessary training and equipment to stay safe while working at high elevations. The roofer can examine your home for loose or missing shingles, check seals around skylights and chimneys, remove any snow buildup, ice dams, and check downspouts or drain blockages from the gutters.
Removing snow from your roof can help prevent roof collapse and the buildup of ice dams. Taking preventative measures can help reduce damage from occurring and minimize repair costs.
Entryways, including doors and windows, must also be carefully inspected for damage.
- Impaired windows and doors cause drafts, which not only result in discomfort from chilly air seeping in but also jeopardize your home’s energy efficiency.
- It’s important to check the seals and caulking for damage to ensure there is no water leakage as this can lead to interior condensation and mold growth.
In storm cases with high winds, check to make sure there are no areas of loose, bulging or missing siding as this could leave your home exposed to the winter elements and be an opportunity for water to seep in. If you don’t have siding, check for peeling paint which if left untreated could potentially lead to wood rot.
Protect your pipes
Especially during the coldest season of the year, make sure your home’s piping system is intact. If a snowstorm is on the radar, your first step should be to prevent pipes from freezing or bursting. This can be done by running a trickle of water from your faucets, opening interior doors, and keeping your garage door closed. Also, always keep your home’s internal temperature at least 55 degrees.
Document any damage for claims
If your home or belongings sustain damage from a winter storm, log the evidence and document everything immediately with photos and/or video. Reach out to your insurance agent and contractors as soon as possible to discuss a winter storm recovery plan.
Always inspect your home again in the spring and take note of any issues you may have missed that arose as a result of winter storms. Making sure our customers and their homes are protected year-round is a top priority at Rural Mutual. To learn more about how to keep your home safe this winter, contact your local agent.