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Winter weather preparations

Posted on Dec 01, 2016 by: Scott West

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As serious cold weather sets in around Texas and beyond, prepare your home to handle freezing temperatures without incident.

Essential winter weather preparations

  • Have furnaces serviced and chimneys inspected and cleaned. 

  • Check around the outside of your house and seal any air leaks with caulk and weather-stripping. Add extra insulation to the walls and floor of your attic—most homes need at least 12-15 inches. 

  • Insulate pipes that pass through exterior walls or colder areas like garage ceilings and unheated attics. 

  • Turn off water flow to exterior hose bibs, detach garden hoses, and empty the hose bibs.    

  • In sub-zero temperatures, open bathroom and kitchen sink cabinets to allow warm air circulation. Note: If you have children and/or pets, secure any hazardous materials that you typically store in these areas.

  • Slow-running faucets can help prevent pipes from freezing.

  • Frozen pipes may leak or remain intact, depending on the severity of the freeze. Check all areas for leaks once the pipes thaw.

  • Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep the access path clear in case a frozen pipe leak or other plumbing issue necesitates an immediate shutoff. If you plan to leave home for an extended period, consider shutting off the water as a precautionary measure.

  • Consider installing an automatic water shutoff valve to prevent extensive water damage. In certain regions, insurance companies offer discounts on your premium if you install an approved device.

If all else fails and you do suffer a water leak, secure your valuables and then call your independent insurance agent! We’re here to help in your time of need.