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Winter Is Coming: Is Your Property Ready?

With winter coming, it is again that time of year to start thinking about the cold and snow and all the property damage that can occur because of them. Winterization is the process of preparing property (and vehicles) in advance to help resist the effects of winter weather. The idea is that if you take the precautions ahead of time, the risk of damage is going to be mitigated (or at least minimized).

Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to winterize your property ahead of time to prepare it for the changes in temperature and help protect your investment:

· Prevent air leakage

o Make sure doors and windows have been caulked and weather-stripped.

o Ensure the heating systems are functional (and safe).

o Avoid using portable heaters when going to bed or when in a different room.

· Water sources

o Drain unused water systems (such as outdoor ponds in winter).

o Open cabinets containing pipes a bit to allow heat to radiate around them indoors.

o Wrap outdoor pipes in insulated sleeves.

o Indoor faucets can be allowed to drip (to keep water moving, minimizing freezing risk) on very cold days.

o Repair holes and cracks in outside walls and foundations, especially near water pipes.

o Cover outdoor faucets.

· Prepare for snow removal

o Have de-icing materials on hand, particularly to help remove snow from rooftops.

o Identify hazardous spots around the property prior to snowfall so as not to be injured by them when it does snow.

o Uniformly remove snow and avoid piling it in large sections. The larger the snow pile, the more insulated the center will be and, thus, the longer it will take to melt.

· Rodent-proof your property (Pests often flee to the warmest and easiest place they can get to.)

o Seal any openings that pests can get in through.

o Keep things clean and organized.

o Ensure trash cans are sealed and that the trash is being taken out regularly.

o Ensure food is sealed and stored so as not to spoil.

Winter is the time of year when it seems like everything breaks at the same time. The reason why is simple: going from warm to cold is the largest ambient shift most materials are likely to see, and each time they undergo that process, more and more stress is put on the individual pieces of a given property. With proper winterization, however, many problems can be avoided altogether.

For more information about preparing your property for winter, and to take things a step further, learning what sort of insurance coverage you may need to deal with weather-related issues, you can reach me at or 952-746-4346.

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