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Winter Storm Prep: Your Home's Exterior
With forecasters anticipating a bitterly cold winter, take time now to prepare your home for weathering seasonal storms. Damage from a storm can be devastating to both the interior and exterior of your home, so it’s important to take precautions inside and out.
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) suggest taking these steps to protect your home’s exterior.
1. Clean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from gutters, so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damming, a condition where water is unable to drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls.
2. Install gutter guards. Gutter guards prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.
3. Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind could cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property.
4. Repair steps and handrails. Broken stairs and banisters can become lethal when covered with snow and ice.
5. Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations. Use caulking to seal around any wall openings to prevent cold air and moisture from entering your home. Caulk and install weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent warm air from leaking out and cold air from blowing in.