There is nothing quite as satisfying as coming back to a warm home in the winter: as the weather outside becomes more frightful by the hour, the place you call your own is incredibly inviting. Missouri tends to offer its fair share of fresh snowpack, ice, and high winds along with brutally low temperatures that can wreak havoc on your property. Your roof, interior, and plumbing all could suffer damage when this very unpredictable season rears its head!

Forging Forward Through Frost + Beyond:

Checking your policy details with us here at The Alexander Insurance Agency of St Charles before the temperatures drop can protect you against many different forms of damage. Warm meals with loved ones, entertainment and game nights, and the enjoyment of a cozy recluse can render winter’s wrath not as frightening! Here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared, protected, and in a forward-thinking mindset regarding what the chilliest of seasons can do to your home.

  • Investigate all the trees around your property and make strides to get rid of dead or dying branches. It’s best to call the city removal service If you notice any of these that could fall on a power line.
  • Clean gutters are “worth their weight in shovel-handle currency”: melted water will not jam up, and this alleviates the risk of unwanted ice dams. As March comes and the eminent thaw takes place, untreated gutters can wreak havoc on foundations and the basement below them. During heavy rains, jammed-up water can wash away mulch and damage other landscaping elements.
  • Be sure to detach garden hoses, as this will protect you from cracked or frozen pipes. Before freezing temperatures set in, it’s good to have your sprinklers professionally winterized, with an air compressor and other tools to ensure the job’s done right.  

DO Look in the Attic: How to Prep for Winter’s Bite

Attics are notorious for leaks from poorly sealed entry points, which can cause a serious imbalance between fresh and properly heated air inside the house. Professional air sealing can solve this air loss issue, and it can be targeted toward attic hatches, doors, floor holes, and furnace holes. Think of this process as you would add many extra layers on a cold winter day! By trapping heated air inside the home, you can prevent the furnace from working overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

Promptly Securing Adequate Pest Control:

During attic inspection, an infestation is one problem you need to address right away for winterization. Even though many homeowners have claimed that it is perfectly normal to have a few extra roommates who don’t pay rent in the attic, you don’t want mice and other pests to make small holes bigger and make their way down to the house. Having a reputable pest control company check things out will provide you peace of mind that everything is sterile, inviting, and insulated properly. 

The Perks of a Programmable Thermostat:

The Department of Energy suggests keeping the thermostat at 68°F when you’re at home, which we know sounds a bit warm to some but a bit uncomfortably cool for others! Replacing your thermostat with a programmable version allows you to customize your heating so you don’t run the system unnecessarily when you’re gone. If a dryer vent becomes clogged with lint dust or debris, this can hurt vital air flow. Every winter it’s important to take a good look at your higher fence and secure them, as this is another entryway for uninvited pests to claim your home as their own for the chilly season! 

Don’t Leave the AC Uninvited to the Winterization Affair:

Window AC units should be removed and stored in a safe and dry location, as drafts can easily find their way through even the smallest openings. These cooling units are not equipped with seals tight enough to weather the most brutal of winter temps and can make it difficult for a room to maintain a reasonably warm temperature. Removing these units around mid to late September may require a set of hands but is a task you’ll be thankful you completed when temperatures eventually drop. 

Stock, Drop, and Roll: Rocking Winterization with a Well-Prepared Home

One very crucial winterization tip concerns the supplies you have on hand. Make sure that you have everything you need to carry you through this demanding season. It may be at the bottom of your list to someday get another shovel or some deicing salt, with the fall being the best time to stock up so you won’t be met with supply chain issues. The exterior of your home is the first to suffer during these extreme weather bouts, and taking stock of deicing salt, sturdy shovels, snow roof rakes, and ice scrapers will leave you prepared for any unexpected onslaught.

The Old Man’s Wrath Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Hearth:

If you follow these instructions to the bone-chilling T and still have a wintertime incident, all of us at the Alexander Agency are here for you! Most standard home insurance policies cover occurrences from rain, ice, snow, or wind. If your house ever becomes uninhabitable due to damage and you need a hotel, your insurance will also cover these extra expenses. Damage from limbs, ice, or frozen and burst pipes are events covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. 

Here are some tips to follow if damage happens to you:

  • Take pictures right away. This allows you to accurately report the severity of damage in your insurance claim. 
  • Try a temporary repair: This is one of those “proceed with caution” ideas, but it could prevent further damage from happening. 
  • Keep your receipts: Save receipts gained for services or supplies as documentation to support your claim.

Cold weather can spell trouble for your house, as $15.1 billion in insured losses were caused by winter storms during the first half of 2021. Most common home insurance claims take place in the winter, with burst pipes existing as a high-ranking offender. Winterizing your home is not just about physical preparations; it’s also about ensuring that your family is shielded from unforeseen risks and uncertainties. Our commitment here at the Alexander Agency of St Charles is to be your partner in safeguarding the things that matter most, especially on your very own side of four sturdy walls!