• How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

    How to Prepare Your Home for Winter November 29, 2016

    With winter just around the corner, now is the time to start preparing for cold weather, snowfall, ice accumulation, and winter storms. Here are some tips you should consider for protecting your homes and families:

    Freezing Temperatures

    • Have furnaces serviced and chimneys inspected and cleaned.
    • Check the home perimeter and seal any air leaks with caulk and weather-stripping. Add additional insulation in the attic—most homes need at least 12-15 inches.
    • Insulate pipes that go through exterior walls or colder areas such as garage ceilings or unheated attics.
    • Turn water off to exterior hose bibs, detach garden hoses, and empty hose bibs.
    • Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep the access path clear in case a frozen pipe leak or other water issue needs to be stopped. Click here to download more information about preventing frozen pipes.
    • Consider installing an automatic water shutoff valve to prevent extensive water damage.


    • In high snowfall areas, make sure no exhaust vents become buried by snow.
    • Install adequate attic insulation, which prevents ice damming by keeping a “cold roof” to prevent continuous melting of roof snow. Click here to download more information about ice damming.
    • Identify a local roofer who clears snow from roofs and removes ice dams to prevent roof collapse or interior water damage. (Not all roofers clear roof snow or ice dams.)

    Winter Storms

    • Service backup generators and have adequate fuel supplies on hand. Do not store fuel inside. Even if the generator is portable, it should never run indoors.
    • Have emergency supplies on hand, such as flashlights, batteries, and inverters to use in the car to charge devices.
    • If a prolonged power outage means having to relocate, take preventative measures against water damage before leaving home.
      • Turning off the water may not prevent frozen pipes, but it can significantly reduce the damage.
      • Still water freezes faster than running water. By turning on a faucet at the highest point in the house and allowing it to drip or flow at a minimum level could help prevent frozen pipes.

    Reprinted with permission from AIG. Brunswick Companies is an independent insurance agency representing only A Rated carriers. We value our carriers’ investments in research and proudly share their market insights.