Preparing a vacation home for winter can help to reduce the risk of damage.
As the summer cottage season comes to a close, many people are shutting up their vacation homes for the colder months, and homeowners insurance companies are issuing recommendations to help make sure that this is done properly so that a claim won’t need to be made.
Many forms of damage can be prevented with the proper precautions.
This means that at this time of year, homeowners insurance companies make a priority of trying to inform their policyholders regarding the best ways to keep their properties free of damage from the elements and from intruders, throughout the months when the cottages and vacation homes are not in use.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s CEO and president, Julie Rochman, “Winter weather presents several threats to a home.” She explained that “Among the most common and potentially damaging risks are frozen pipes and the formation of ice dams.”
Rochman stated that should a pipe containing water freeze, it can burst and lead to a tremendous amount of water damage. Moreover, when a roof experiences an ice dam, damage can result when water is forced back and leaks into the walls and attic. This type of damage can be widespread and very costly to repair. This is why homeowners insurance companies are recommending preventative actions to help stop those problems before they happen.
Among the tips that are being suggested by homeowners insurance companies for cottage owners are the following:
• Fully drain the entire water system in order to eliminate the chance of frozen and bursting pipes.
• Ensure that any pipes that will be left on are adequately insulated – especially in attics, basements, and garages.
• Clean out all downspouts and gutters to ensure that the water flow will be clear.
• Make certain that the attic is properly insulated and ventilated so that ice dams are less likely to occur
• Unplug all appliances, lamps, and other electric devices.
• Remove all foods as even those that are very well sealed can attract rodents and insects
• Secure all doors and windows and check for openings.
• Keep the thermostat set at a temperature no lower than 55 degrees to prevent damage from freezing.