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Get your home ready for winter

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Steve SchofieldWe’re still having some beautiful weather around here, but you know it won’t last long. Take advantage of these nice days and get your home prepped before the white stuff starts flying so you can have a safer, healthier winter.

  • Trim the limbs. Dead tree limbs can harm roofs, gutters, siding, decks, and cars, as well as people. Trim back any limbs that are hanging over your house, driveway, or sidewalks so they don’t cause a hazard.
  • Prep the plumbing. Turn off the water supply to outdoor spigots and sprinkler systems to avoid burst pipes when it gets cold. Install pipe insulation in unheated areas.
  • Check the chimney. It’s a good idea to have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected yearly to ensure it’s not a fire hazard and there are no critters making their home in there.
  • Stay on alert. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one right away. Otherwise, make sure to test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and change the batteries. Use the time change to help you remember to check each year.
  • Give your furnace a checkup. Start out by changing your filter—it will help your furnace run more efficiently. If you haven’t had it professionally checked in the last two or three years, make an appointment.
  • Inspect your foundation and home’s exterior. It’s important to keep snow and rain from building up around your home’s foundation. Clear out excess vegetation, take any steps needed to ensure water runs away from your house, and clean the gutters and downspouts. Around the outside of your house, seal up drafts and places for pests to enter your home, especially around doors and windows, the chimney cap, attic vents, roofing, siding, and areas where utility lines enter.

Lastly, make sure you're properly insured. Not all policies are the same, so be sure you understand what you have or what you are purchasing so you won’t find yourself short on coverage when you need it. Member Benefits can help. For a free insurance consultation and comparison quote, give us a call at 1-800-279-4010 or schedule a personal phone consultation at a time convenient for you.

Steve Schofield, Personal Insurance Consultant