January 28, 2022

Tips to Prevent Winter Water Damage

Water damage accounts for a majority of insurance claims. Here are a few tips on how you can prevent damage to your belongings and your home:

Prepare for winter.

Winter has a way of sneaking up on us, doesn’t it? Winter weather presents a number of challenges for homeowners to prevent water damage, such as avoiding frozen pipes and ice dams.

Ice Dams

Ice dams form when heat escapes through the attic, melting and ice and snow. The ice and snow then refreezes and prevents further melting from draining off the roof. This buildup then causes damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and personal property. To prevent ice dams, seal any gaps in the attic where heat may escape. Also, purchase a roof rake to remove snow from the roof during the winter months.

Frozen Pipes

When temperatures drop, water freezes — so do pipes. Take preventive measures to prevent frozen pipes and water damage by purchasing pipe insulation from your local hardware store. If you are leaving your home for a prolonged period of time during the winter months, never set the temperatures below 55 º F.

Make sure to disconnect garden hoses from outside faucets and consider draining the faucet to
remove standing water in the supply pipe and fixture to prevent damage from freezing.

Protect your belongings from water damage.

Check if your belongings — especially valuable items —are located in areas prone to dampness or water damage. Consider storing these items in waterproof containers and off of basement or attic floors.

While you’re taking preventative measures to protect your belongings, consider updating your home inventory. Having an up-to-date list of all of your belongings, along with its respective value, will save you the time and stress of reporting your possessions to your insurance carrier in the event of an accident.

For more water prevention tips, visit the Insurance Information Institute.