Inclement weather conditions are an inherent part of the winter season. High winds, extreme cold, icy sidewalks, and heaps of snow can create risks for homeowners and businesses alike. Yet, fortunately, preparing for the freezing weather hazards in advance can help avert damages while potentially saving on repair/replacement expenses.

Winter Preparations Tips for Homeowners

 Water pipes and heating systems are two important areas that you need to watch out for while preparing your home for winter. Here are a few helpful tips to consider:

Inside Your Home

  • It is recommended that you get your heating system (boilers, furnaces, and chimneys) serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage
  • Move combustible items away from wood stoves, fireplaces, and other heat sources
  • Check your pipes for signs of cracks or leaks and repair them immediately
  • Consider installing emergency pressure release valves to protect your freezing pipes from bursting under increased pressure
  • Insulate your roof to prevent heat from escaping and melting the snow on it, resulting in an ice dam that blocks your gutter
  • Have a reliable backup power source that will ensure continuous power supply in the event of an outage

Outside Your Home

  • Repair broken stairs and railings to help prevent slip and fall accidents
  • Trim off weak trees and dead branches to prevent them from breaking free and damaging your car, home, or other attached structures
  • Clean your gutters and remove any leaves, sticks, or other debris that might clog them and cause them to overflow
  • Consider installing gutter guards to prevent debris from falling into the gutter and interrupting the water flow
  • Seal all cracks and wall openings with caulk to prevent moisture or cold air from entering your home
  • Caulk your windows to prevent water seepage

Winter Preparations Tips for Businesses

While many of the tips mentioned above will be equally applicable for preparing your business premises for winter, there are a few others that you should consider to ensure the continuity of your business.

  • Consider installing water detection devices near sump pumps, toilets, and other high-risk areas to detect potential leaks and moisture
  • Monitor your monthly water bills and look for sudden spikes that might be indicative of slow leaks
  • Insulate exposed pipes and remove any outdoor water hoses which can expand/freeze due to standing water
  • Regularly inspect your sprinkler systems to help ensure there are no frozen pipes beneath your property’s surface
  • Ensure that the ground surrounding your business premises is slightly angled to prevent water from seeping into the basement or foundation

The winter season comes with a unique set of challenges; nonetheless, being prepared can save you from many headaches down the road. You should also consider getting customized insurance coverage to protect your home and business in the event of an unfortunate mishap. At Tompkins Insurance Agencies, we provide tailored policies to homeowners and businesses across New York and Pennsylvania.  Contact us today to learn more!