How to Prepare for Winter Weather

Snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures can cause unexpected and devastating damages to your home and business.  The last thing you want to ring in the New Year with is frozen pipes or roof damage caused by the weight of ice or snow. Though Alabama tends to have milder winters, weather is unpredictable, so it is best to prepare for the worst. After all, you never know when another snowpocalypse will surprise us. 

The cold weather requires extra maintenance for your home and business facilities, including upkeep to ensure the safety of anyone who steps foot on the property. Before the harsh weather hits, take these steps and precautions to safeguard your home and/or business from wintery weather risks:

  1. Clean out the gutters.This will allow melting snow and ice to flow freely and prevent ice damming and roof damage, which is what happens when water is unable to drain through the gutters.
  2. Trim trees and remove dead branches.Ice, snow and wind often cause weak branches to break free and damage your home, business or car, or even injure someone walking by your property.
  3. Repair steps and handrails.Stairs and walkways can become dangerous when they’re covered in snow and ice. Minimize the risk of slips and falls by installing or repairing handrails where necessary.
  4. Service your heating system. Furnaces, boilers and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage.
  5. Protect your pipes. First, it’s vital to know where your pipes are located and how to shut the water off. If your pipes do freeze, the quicker you shut off the water, the better your chance of preventing major damage. Consider installing extra insulation to attics, basements, crawl spaces and other unfinished areas to prevent pipes from freezing. Read more about winterizing your water system here.
  6. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.Residential fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are more common in the winter, so be sure your detectors are working properly.
  7. Prepare an emergency kit. Power outages, blizzards and other wintery conditions my leave you and others stranded at home or work for some time. Prepare an emergency kit by stocking it with flashlights, batteries, blankets, food, water and other emergency supplies.

Combine these precautions with the appropriate insurance coverage, and you can sleep soundly and celebrate, rather than fear, snow days this winter.

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