securing your home for winter - David Romano, public adjuster.

Preparing for Winter in New York

Preparing for Winter in New York is always a task, and one that many put off until its too late.  Don’t leave your home and loved ones at risk to the unpredictable wrath of the fall and winter seasons. Here are a few tips to get ready.

The harsh realities of the New York /New Jersey winter can be unpredictable. Even for those that grew here we never really know what each season has in store for us. Every year we wait and see if it brings hurricanes, nor’easters, freezing rains and/or heavy snowfalls. And in the last decade it has become more so unpredictable.

At the same time, people often don’t think about fall. Its a transition period that goes without thought, but for the unprepared can bring devastation for the unprepared.

During the early fall could be a good time to get the outside of your home ready for winter, but also for the high winds and heavy rains that fall can bring. Rotting, overgrown and damaged trees can cause tremendous damage during rain storms with high winds.  So check out a tree specialist to get a quick evaluation.

Preparing for Winter in New York

Here’s how you can protect your home this winter, from wind, snow, ice and any other kind of damage caused by the elements:

The biggest threat posed by the onset of winter is not only to the outside of your home, but the inside as well. And for personal safety, staying warm is a high priority.

Interior Maintenance Tips:

  • Furnaces and electric fireplaces need to be checked, tuned up, and made sure that they are able to work in freezing cold temperatures.
  • Chimneys and stoves need to be inspected and cleaned out. BEFORE the winter season is upon you. This will prevent fires and accumulation of carbon monoxide in your home.
  • In case of very low temperatures, faucets and taps can be left a little open to drip to prevent freezing.
  • Fire/ Smoke alarms must be checked so disaster doesn’t strike down you and/or your family should a fire breakout in the middle of the night due to electrical overload or some other misfortune.
  • Apply caulking around doors and windows, to ensure your heating system works-well and to avoid the cold creeping in.
  • Ice dams are a major worry as well, in these freezing temperatures. They can occur when the heat from inside your home escapes through vents, pipes and roofs. The heat can make the snow melt inside the pipe/roof, and then it could refreeze at the top, making leaking a major worry. If this happens, call a contractor or a roofing company immediately, to stop further damage to your home.

The exterior of your house is just as important as the interior. Obstructions and fallen trees may prove a hindrance to your daily life.

Exterior Maintenance Tips:

  • Drains and gutters must be cleaned out regularly. Barriers to smooth flow of drainage and all obstructions must be removed. They also need to be properly secured, in case of heavy rains.
  • Inspect the roof each year. if all openings are sealed, and vents are sealed around as well, it will prevent water or snow from leaking into your home.
  • Basements should be checked for water backups in case of heavy downpours.
  • Trees must pruned, and dead branches  and debris cleared to ensure that they don’t become unsuspecting weapons that can damage your home during high winds.
  • Water lines need to be winterized so they don’t freeze in the harsh winter.
  • Clear all exterior water pipes. Water within pipes can freeze and then burst as the ice as formed.
  • Interior (and exterior) wiring should be checked by an expert electrician to avoid electrical fire: each year 55,000 electrical fires cause 500 deaths, 1,500 injuries, and over a billion dollars in damages due to faulty wiring.

The lazy days of a cold winter can best be enjoyed in New York, especially long island,  when you sleep well knowing you’re ready. The forces of nature are unrelenting, and are unbiased. Your best line of defense against to onslaught of winter is preparation.

Once you’ve shored up you home, write an action-plan for all contingencies during severe storms and extreme emergencies. Be ready for loss of power, and impassable roads (stock food, medicines, batteries, flashlights and first aid kits).

We wish you all a happy and pleasant season. And if disaster does strike, we’re help to help negotiate your insurance claims to get you the highest payout.

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Category: Home Preparation

Posted On: 8 Oct 15

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