Winter Problems and Homeowners Insurance

Winter brings snowball fights, glittering icicles, and cozy evenings by a fire. However, winter weather can also bring hazards like frozen and broken pipes, tree limbs that snap because of ice and snow loads, and power outages. Here are some tips about winter weather in Pittsburgh, PA from Gallina and Sons.

Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter Weather

If you haven’t taken reasonable precautions to protect your plumbing, you may not be covered for losses related to frozen pipes and flooding that may occur when the pipes thaw. You can use these tips to help protect your plumbing.

  • Keep your home heated to at least 60 degrees. If you plan to leave town for a few days, turn down your heat, but don’t turn off your heat. A cold snap could cause your plumbing to freeze if your home is left unheated.
  • Disconnect outdoor garden hoses, drain the hoses and store them indoors. Cover and insulate the exterior faucets on your home to avoid damage due to freezing. 
  • Check your crawlspace or basement to make sure that winter drafts aren’t making these areas too cold. If they are too cold, use heat tape to keep exposed pipes from freezing.
  • In very cold weather, keep your faucets running at a slow drip. Running water is less likely to freeze in the pipes.

Clear Your Gutters

Ice dams form when chunks of ice prevent the gutters from draining the ice melt from your roof. The water can back up under your shingles and cause roof leaks and structural damage. Keeping gutters clear of leaves and other material can help prevent ice dams.

Have Your Trees Trimmed

Hire a tree trimming company to trim branches that could fall on your home if a heavy snowfall or ice storm occurs. You don’t want overhanging limbs to fall on your home and damage it. 

Clear Sidewalks, Porches, and Steps of Ice and Snow

While your homeowner’s insurance may cover the injuries of people who fall on your property, keeping walkways clear is always best. Shovel, salt, and scrape your walkways to keep yourself and visitors safe. 

Claims

If you have a claim due to winter weather, call your insurance agent to get the process started. Take pictures of the damage, and don’t make permanent repairs until the insurance adjustor can take a look at your problem. You can do temporary repairs to prevent further damage to the home while waiting on the claim to be processed.

If you have questions about homeowner’s insurance in the Pittsburgh, PA area, contact Gallina and Sons today.