With the end of the year fast approaching, it is time to start wrapping up projects and get ready to enjoy a fresh start in January. How long have you been saying that you’ll clean the gutters, tidy the garage, or fix that annoying crack in the window? Now is the time to make sure the home is in order to welcome the new year with a stress-free mind. We have put together this list of tasks to check on to help make sure that you have all loose ends tied up, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy this holiday season.
Things to Check Outside
- Make sure that your home has updated coverage for any changes or additions you made to its build. If something were to happen that causes you to file a claim, you want to make sure your coverage is sufficient to cover everything!
- Does your home policy cover extreme weather? Not all policies do, and it is always better to know ahead of time, rather than find out that you aren’t covered AFTER the damage has occurred.
- Trim any limbs that may have died or taken damage in the freeze. Water getting into cracks, freezing, then cooling cause wood to split. This could mean a limb falling onto your home, vehicle, or a person, all of which you are liable for.
- Water freezing in pipes is a huge cause for claims during the winter, and a burst pipe could mean contaminated water for your home, no hot water for cooking or bathing, or no water at all!
- Start by shutting the valves to outside pipes, then open the spigot outside to let the water drain. Leave the water shut off until spring to make sure that no water can build up and burst.
- Make sure that leaves and debris aren’t clogging your gutters before the freezing nights come. Clear gutters will allow water to pass without a problem, obstructed gutters hold on to water and can create frozen chunks that can burst your gutters and cause damage to your home.
- Make sure to clear, salt, and mark your driveway to help prevent getting snowed in, icy patches, and to help identify it during inclement weather.
Things to Check Inside
- Animals look for warm places to stay during the winter, so make sure that any holes in your walls or roof are properly repaired to prevent uninvited guests.
- Check on your furnace and water heater to make sure you aren’t left in the cold this winter. When were they last checked and repaired? Have their filters been replaced? Have someone come to your home to inspect them and make sure they are up-to-standard to survive the winter stress.
- Insulate interior pipes that are close to the edges of your home which could be exposed to colder temperatures to protect them from bursting as well.
- Fireplaces are a cozy winter tradition, but they go through wear and tear just like the rest of the home. Make sure to have it inspected to keep the chimney doesn’t have blockages, cracks, enough soot to insulate it, and closes properly to stop anything other than Santa coming down it.
- Check that your valuables and recent purchases are insured before leaving home for the holidays. Empty homes are targets for thieves and coming home to stolen belongings rather than new gifts is not what you want this season.
- Make sure your fire alarms and smoke sensors are working properly to alert you of any fires or burning from a fireplace or space heater mishap.
Things to Check in Your Vehicle
- Make sure your tires are healthy and filled. The changing temperatures can fluctuate your tire pressure, so keep a careful eye on them before driving on icy roads.
- If you have winter vehicles such as snowmobiles or trailers, make sure that they are in proper working order before taking them out for winter fun. Make sure their tires, oil, brakes, and other machinery are all healthy, and that your coverage on them is up to date.
- Are you renting a vehicle for holiday travel? Make sure that it has the protection you need – if you forget items in the rental are they protected? Does it have breakdown and towing coverage? Ask your auto agent and the rental agent about the coverage you will need during your time with the vehicle.