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January 2018

Help clients protect their homes and businesses this winter

The winter months are now upon us, and with the January chill comes some potential hazards for home owners and business owners. Below are a few important steps you can share with clients to help protect their personal or business property from the dangers of winter:

  • Attic and roof: To decrease the risk of ice dams, which are formed when snow melts off the roof and then refreezes at the roof’s edge, make sure attics are well ventilated. The attic should be kept at a temperature similar to the outdoors. Also, ensure that your gutters are free of debris and that the attic floor is well insulated.
  • Pipes: The doors to any cabinets that contain pipes should be left open and any exposed pipes should be covered with insulation sleeves. While away from home for an extended period of time, a small trickle of water should be kept running from faucets to keep water moving through the pipes.
  • Storm drains and flooring: Make sure any outdoor drains do not fill up with debris. This could force water or melted snow to flow into the basement. A shovel or salt can be used to clear any accumulating snow or ice from the drains.
  • Walk areas: In order to prevent slips and falls, snow or ice should be cleared from any walkways.

If pipes do freeze:

  • Keep the faucet open so that, as the frozen area melts, the running water will help melt the ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen area until full water pressure is restored.
  • Never use a blow torch, kerosene or propane heater or any other open flame device.
  • Finally, if the frozen area cannot be found or is not accessible, call a licensed plumber to assist.

Encourage your clients to be proactive about taking care of their homes and businesses to minimize loss, and recommend a policy review to ensure they are adequately protected.

For information about coverage for your policyholders’ homes, businesses and other property, contact your district sales manager.