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Although it's only February, this year has already been a record setting year for temperatures in the East. Much of the country has experienced temperatures well below normal, periods of freezing rain, mountains of snow and Mother Nature continues to bring harsh conditions to nearly every state. Severe winter weather can cause havoc and widespread problems and considerable damage on homes in the area.

Insuring for Severe Cold WeatherWhile most home insurance policies do cover against problems caused by freezing conditions, it is important to take the necessary precautions and steps to keep your home safe and minimize risk or loss during this extended and severe winter.

Outside:

Pull on the long johns and step outside to keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free from snow and ice. Although many choose to stay inside and away from traveling, it is still important to keep your property clear of hazards. Also, check gutters and downspouts for debris and ice. Buildup can cause water to be trapped in these areas and if left unattended, this built up water can seep into your house.

Check outside trees for dead or damaged limbs that may cause problems if they break off. Ice, snow, and wind, can break down even the strongest trees, so prevent further damage by trimming trees where necessary before the ice and snow arrive.

Always make sure all hoses are completely disconnected from the house, and for swimming pools run the pump at night, to maintain a steady flow of water through the pipes.

Inside:

Warm up inside by always keeping the home heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls is substantially colder than the walls themselves, and if kept lower than 65 degrees, the inside of the walls may begin to freeze. Keep water moving through the pipes by allowing hot and cold faucets to maintain a slow, continuous drip rather than shutting them off altogether.

Always keep a close eye on your fireplace, wood stove, and electric heater to ensure they are working properly. If you use fireplaces, wood stoves and electric heaters, watch them closely and make sure they are working properly.

For some, the winter weather is too much to take, and they leave the area seeking warmer climates. If you are going for a vacation or for an extended leave, be sure someone is available to check on your home regularly.

Dealing with Damage:

When, despite your best efforts, there are still problems, take measures to handle the situation immediately and call your insurance agent as soon as possible. Do not wait for pipes to burst if you notice they are already frozen, try to thaw them out first.

Clean up spills and turn off the water to prevent further water damage. If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills. Make temporary repairs to avoid extended damage and always keep a detailed record of damaged items and receipts.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
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Claude Reynolds Insurance Agency Inc.
6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232
Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
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