Whether it’s tumbling temperatures or a blackout blizzard, winter weather can wreak havoc on a home. But you can avoid a disaster with some preventive action.
Here are four common types of winter-related home damage and how you can prevent them, plus how home insurance works if you can’t.
1. Burst water pipes
If your kitchen faucet isn’t working on a cold winter morning, you could have a frozen water pipe. Frozen pipes can burst and cause accidental water damage, which can be expensive to repair.
To prevent burst pipes, let your faucets drip on the coldest days, which will keep pipe water from freezing. Use sleeves or newspaper to cover pipes in spaces exposed to the chilliest temperatures, like basements and attics. If a pipe does freeze, shut off your water immediately, then use a heated pad or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water.
But don’t fret if a pipe bursts. “Almost all [home] insurance policies will cover the resulting damage from a burst pipe,” says Steve Wilson, senior underwriting manager at Hippo Insurance. Once you pay your deductible, your home insurance will pay out up to your policy’s limits. Your dwelling coverage will cover home repair costs, while your personal property coverage will pay for damaged belongings.