Fall is officially here — meaning it’s time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. We know winter can be harsh in New England, which is why we’re offering our guide to get your home ready before the snow and ice set in.
- Clean out gutters. Of all fall chores, cleaning out gutters is one of the most important. Clear your gutters of fallen leaves and any other debris to ensure that your gutters direct water away from your roof and siding.
- Check windows and doors. If you have window air-conditioning units, take them out and store them until next summer. You can also swap out regular window screens for storm windows. Check all windows and doors for drafts, and add weather stripping to keep the cold out.
- Turn off outside water. To help avoid frozen pipes, shut off all outside water valves. You should also make sure to disconnect and drain all outside hoses.
- Check smoke alarms. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a year. It also doesn’t hurt to check the manufacturing date, as smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years.
- Clean your chimney. Chimneys and wood stoves should be cleaned early in the season. If you have a fireplace, it’s important to have it inspected and cleaned by a licensed and insured professional. A dirty chimney not only affects air quality in your home, it can also pose a fire hazard.
- Insulate pipes. Slow heat transfer by wrapping pipes in your basement or crawl space with insulation sleeves. And during cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, minimizing your risk of frozen pipes.
- Get ready for snow. Make sure you have plenty of shovels and salt on hand, before the first snowfall hits. If you haven’t started up your snowblower since last winter, now is a good time to test it. The last thing you want is for it to not start when you need it most. In case of a severe storm, it’s possible that the power may go out. Make sure you have a supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and nonperishable food.
Winter is coming — get ahead of it by preparing your home now. While we can’t help shovel out your car, we can offer advice to keep you, your family, and your home safe during the winter months. For more information about winterizing your home, give us a call at 617-825-3900 or visit our website for all your insurance needs.