Winter in Colorado delivers snowy fun and bracing get-togethers with family and friends after the holidays. You want to spend all your time enjoying the season and not worrying about problems. Prep your home by following these tips and you won’t have to worry about potential hits to your homeowner's insurance.
Remove the Snow
Although snow can look beautiful by softening the hard lines of a roof with soft white mounds, it can stress your structure with its weight and with constant melting and refreezing of damaging moisture. If a foot or more of snow has accumulated, it’s time to get it removed. If you have the typical pitched roof, you can use a roof rake, which is a tool with a long handle so you can stand on the ground and pull off the snow.
Do not be tempted to get on the roof to deal with the accumulation. Even if you have a relatively flat top, the surface can still be slippery, particularly under the snow. It’s best to hire professionals to deal with the problem but make sure that you check their references and that they're insured and bonded.
Use a Generator
Although rare, power outages do occur in the winter, particularly after a snowstorm. Such events can rob you of heat and can spoil food due to lack of refrigeration. Adding a generator can offer you temporary power until the main grid comes on. However, you need to use this device correctly to avoid hazards that can lead to injury or death.
Before using a generator, read and follow the instructions carefully. Connect it properly and make sure that it is grounded to prevent electrical shocks. Operate the generator outdoors at least 25 feet from your structure. There should be at least three feet of space around the generator to provide ventilation. Be careful when touching it because parts of it may get hot even after you turn it off. Before refueling your generator, shut it down and let it cool completely. Store the fuel in a separate area that is well-ventilated.
Safe driving begins before the first snow by preparing your vehicle as you do your home. Add a winter survival kit that includes salt, a snow shovel, and an ice scraper. Change to winter tires so you can negotiate icy roads better. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good conditions and that your cleaning reservoirs are filled so you can easily clear snow from your windshield.
Before every drive, allow extra time to remove ice and snow from your car, particularly around the windshield, windows, mirrors, and lights. Listen to the weather report so you know what’s coming. When you get on the road, reduce your speed and allow extra distance between you and the next car when you stop.
Bonus Cold Weather Tips
- When colder weather hits make sure to drain your swamp cooler. If left undrained it will freeze and cause extra work come springtime.
- Detach and drain all hoses around your home. Make sure the spigot is completely turned off and coil up your hose and store it somewhere dry for the winter.
- Planning a winter trip? Be sure to set your thermostat at 60 or above. This will help prevent coming home to frozen pipes.
With some common sense precautions, winter can be a great time for you and your home. To learn more about what winter incidents are covered in your policy, give us a call at Kyle Insurance Group - Affordable American Insurance or download our mobile app!