Cars and Homes Need a Checkup Before Winter

As the leaves start to drop this autumn, we know that cold temperatures aren’t far behind. Now is the time to prepare your homes and cars so you can be worry free and enjoy the pleasures of a winter wonderland. Have you winterized your home?

Once the autumn leaves have finished falling, clean out your gutters. Gutters blocked with dead leaves can cause ice dams during the winter months. While you’re up on that ladder, check out the condition of your gutters—make sure there aren’t any leaks or misaligned pipes, and make sure the downspouts carry water away from your house’s foundation.

As the wind begins to pick up outside, check to make sure you don’t have any drafts. Use caulk and door sweeps to take care of the drafty areas. Experts recommend that you have at least 12 inches of insulation in an attic. It is also important to ensure your pipes are insulated properly to prevent freezing. Don’t forget the annual maintenance of your furnace, heating system and chimney, and check the duct work to make sure your vents are well-connected and insulated.

Once you’ve taken stock of your home, give our agency a call. Now is the perfect time to make sure you have the right insurance coverage in your homeowners policy—especially if your fall review revealed the need for some costly repairs.

Driving in a winter wonderland

Although modern conveniences allow us to trudge through snow and slush with relatively few concerns, winter travel can be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

Will your car be ready for winter’s extremes? Don’t wait until the roads start freezing to find out. Prepare your car now:

  • Check the antifreeze levels and the firmness of hoses and clamps.
  • Check the tires for wear and make sure they are properly inflated.
  • Keep your gas tank filled. This will keep you warm and safe if you get lost or stranded, and the extra weight will improve your traction. With a full tank, there also is less room for condensation, which means your fuel lines are less likely to freeze.
  • Remember, four-wheel drive doesn’t help your vehicle stop. You may be able to drive through a bigger pile of snow, but you’ll still skid on ice.
  • If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, consider keeping a bag of sand over your rear axle.
  • Remember to check your battery.

Even though your car might be ready to roll, accidents do happen. Keep blankets, water and a roadside emergency kit in your trunk. Travel with a cell phone.

Remember: If you have an accident, contact our agency as soon as possible to report the claim. We won’t leave you out in the cold alone.

 

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