Winter Preparation for Your Home and Vehicles
I remember growing up in some cold winter weather in northern Tennessee, and have seen and experienced some troubling things when it come to home and auto issues in the harshness of winter.
Winter can be tough on a homes and automobiles, especially if you have not taken the necessary steps to prepare for the harsh weather that is right around the corner. Winterization projects can be relatively straightforward and affordable, all the while helping to prevent significant damages that can hinder the comfort, safety and integrity of your house throughout the colder, wetter months.
Let’s look at a few things that we can do to help protect our homes and automobiles.
Let’s look at the home first.
Make Energy- Efficient improvements
We should have energy efficient appliances, windows, doors, and heating systems that will reduce cost, especially during the higher cost of the winter months. We need to be sure our heating systems have been serviced and checked out to minimize winter break downs therefore keeping the home warm and to protect from the freezing temperatures.
Protective Measures for our Plumbing
Frozen pipes can lead to costly repairs and create huge insurance claims once the pipes thaw out. We should consider wrapping with insulation, opening our cabinets, and allowing a little trickle of water running through our faucets to prevent freezing.
Protective Measures for Slip and Falls
Colder weather always brings the opportunity for slips and falls. There a few things we can do to minimize this danger. One, makes sure that we have proper drainage around the home to prevent water ponding and ice forming in the colder temperatures. Check the gutters to make insure proper drainage and that they will not overflow and cause a hazard, especially at the entrance of our homes. Proper winter door mats are a help as well. Slips and falls can cause a huge liability claim to the property owner.
Make Sure You have the Right Coverage
Ensure that your insurance provides the coverage you need for your home this winter.
Now let’s look at the Automobiles.
Your automobile is likely one of your most valuable possessions, and you need to ensure it is kept in optimal working order at all times. With winter’s cold air and precipitation already beginning to show up around the Tennessee Valley, now is a good time to prepare your car for winter.
Here are a few winterization tips to help keep your automobile performing well this winter:
We should be making certain diagnostic, including a thorough test of the battery. Extreme cold temperatures can quickly deplete a battery, so make sure it is in good shape. I suggest checking all fluids, notably oil, and the heating and cooling systems for any irregularities, damages, shortages or otherwise. A quick tune up at your local service center will generally take care of these matters.
Tires, brakes, brake pads
We should be checking our tires regularly for proper inflation. This is extremely important in the winter months when we are likely to empierce wetter and icy conditions upon the roadways. While we are checking, make sure to check the tread depths and any unordinary wear patterns. Tires, especially the front tires that wear more to the inside or outside tells us we have an alignment issue. All Season Radial tires should be used during the winter months.
Ideally, it is best to park our vehicles in a garage or carport. If you do not have the ability to do that. I suggest covering the windshield with some type of covering during the frosty times of weather. It sure beats scraping the windshield. Never use hot water to defrost a windshield as that may cause glass breakage. I would also suggest using a winter glass treatment product to help keep the rain, road grime, and icy build up on the windshield. Never go out on the road with just a small area of visibility to drive by. This is very dangerous and against the law.
Extreme conditions can translate to emergency situations even if you take all of the precautions to avoid a breakdown or other issues on the road. Winter drivers should keep blankets, boots, water, flares, flashlights, engine coolant, washer fluid and engine oil in their vehicles at all times during the winter in case they should run into an emergency situation.
Remember Insurance does not cover auto maintenance repairs of the vehicle, but doing these things can keep us from having to file a claim and just may save our own life.
Auto Insurance is an important part of driving, not just in the winter, but in all seasons. It is also the law that we must have insurance on our vehicles if they are registered for road use. Auto owners can be fined for every day that they do not have coverage.
Make sure that you have the right coverage on your home and auto. We here at Builtwell can help you with those needs. We also offer coverage for an umbrella liability, ATV’s, Campers, Motor Homes, Boats, Trailers, Mobile Homes, Life insurance and annuities. Please give us a call if we can serve you today.
Written by – Steve Sellers – Personal Lines