“It is important to use caution and take steps now to prevent damage to your home before the cold weather sets in,” said Sam Rooks, vice president of underwriting and policy services for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “It’s important to check with your insurance agent and make sure you have the coverage you need should a loss occur from cold or inclement weather.”
To prevent weather-related damage from snow, ice dams and frozen pipes, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety offers tips on its website at disastersafety.org/freezing-
With snow, it is important to strengthen a roof to make sure it can handle the weight of potential ice or snow. For ice dams—ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow to drain off the roof—increase insulation above ceilings to prevent damage. Keep all drains, scuppers, gutters and downspouts free of debris and vegetation that could cause water to pool.
To prevent frozen pipes, keep all entries to unheated spaces closed as much as possible. When extreme cold weather is predicted, let faucets drip to prevent freezing water inside pipes. Leave cabinets open, or use a fan to increase warm air circulation around pipes adjacent to exterior walls. Insulate all pipes using pipe insulation; and ensure all cracks, holes and other openings on exterior walls are tightly sealed with caulk or insulation.