Living in the Midwest, especially in Schaumburg and the rest of the Chicagoland area, extreme winter weather can lead to serious damage to your home. A frozen water pipe could burst and cause a flood in your home and basement. An ice dam within your gutter can divert the water to your interior walls, creating a mess that will be costly to repair. Your homeowners insurance policy protects against specific types of damage, but every policy is different. Make sure you understand the terms of your homeowners insurance policy so you are not left in a tough financial position if your home is damaged by rain, snow, ice or other severe weather.
We have some simple tricks can help you make it through the winter months with your home and family safe and warm.
- Drafty Homes: Energy conservation is not only important for staying warm and healthy this winter. Heat seeping from your windows and doors, through the roof or into the basement will rack up a hefty heating bill. You can make these simple changes if you live in a drafty home; basement drafts can be sealed with a spray foam or caulking product and having a weather stripping along windows will help keep the frigid air out. In very cold areas, you can cover the outside of the windows with plastic, pull back the drapes and let the light in to help warm your home. As the sun sets, pull the drapes or blinds to trap the heated air inside.
- Check Your Roof: The weather is unpredictable, and we never know just how much snow or rain is on the way. To ensure the safety of your roof, have a trusted contractor check its condition and whether it is strong enough to sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall. A roof cave-in is not uncommon, even though building codes require roofs be built to withstand a heavy snow, not all homes have been built to current standards. If your interior doors being to stick after a heavy snowfall, that is an indication that your roof is under stress. If you believe the snow should be removed, do not do this yourself. Contact a professional snow removal company, and make sure they are licensed and insured.
- Trees and Branches: You should consider trimming any overhanging tree branches and remove dangerously close tree, as the weight of ice brings them down, causing terrible damage to roof and walls. Your homeowners insurance policy cover certain damage caused by falling trees and branches, but avoiding the problem altogether is the better option. Remove old and rotting trees or branches, as many insurance companies expect homeowners to perform standard maintenance.
- Frozen Pipes and Flooding: If you are closing up your home over the winter months, we suggest draining your water system so that you avoid the risk of frozen pipes that can burst and leave you with an indoor flood and an uninhabitable home interior. Many homeowners insurance policies will pay for the damage from a burst pipe, but they may not cover damage caused by a slow leak. Your best bet is to get a yearly check of the condition of your water system, particularly in older homes.
Do You Have the Best Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Every homeowners policy is different and it is important that you know what you have. There are often homeowners insurance products on the market that offer better coverage at a better price. R.C. Keller & Company can evaluate your current policy, explain your coverage and help you find a policy that best suits your needs, including your budget. Give us a call today at 847-907-4520 or send us an email.