Snow and colder temperatures can cause many unexpected expenses to a person’s home. From frozen pipes to malfunctioning furnaces, it can leave many in a dangerous situation.

A few days remain until winter officially begins on Dec. 21, and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) wants to make sure people stay safe when temperatures fall below freezing.

Here are five tips from the IBHS to keep your home warm during the colder months:

  • Assess your home’s exposure and know what to do 
    • Create a plan for your home before, during and after a winter storm. 
  • Prevent plumbing from freezing 
    • Insulate and seal attic penetrations, such as vents and plumbing stacks.
    • Make sure your pipes are wrapped or insulated in hard-to-reach places, such as attics, crawl spaces and along all outside walls.
    • Caulk and seal the exterior of your home around windows and doors 
    • Add weather stripping around doors, making sure daylight is not visible from inside your home. 
  • Prevent ice dams and leaks 
    • Ice dams can cause snowmelt to back up and leak into your house.
    • Keep roof drainage systems clear, including gutters and downspouts.
  • Service your generator in case of power outage 
    • Make sure your generator is working properly as soon as possible because professional assistance may be unavailable when you need to get it running (power lines down and roads are blocked).  
  • Winterize your landscaping and irrigation 
    • Keep all tree limbs trimmed and away from your house. Trees with branches near your house can fall under heavy snow or ice and damage your roof, siding and windows. 
    • Shut down pool and sprinkler systems. Drain outdoor faucets, irrigation systems and hoses.  

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