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Make a winter prep list and check it twice


Get your home ready and protect it during winter months.

The first snowfall, warm mittens, holiday treats...winter is a time for cold-weather fun and making memories. It also poses risks for homeowners with freezing temperatures and the hazards that can come with it. Review these lists for information to help you get your home ready and protected during winter.

Keep your roof intact with ice dam prevention. Avoid the headache and cost of water damage by taking steps to prevent ice dams.

  1. Inspect your roof. Ice dams typically form near the edge of the roof when water runs off the warmed roof and then freezes again at the eaves. They can also form on gutters that don’t drain completely and around skylights, because of the less-insulated design. Water-stained ceilings, dislodged shingles, sagging gutters and peeling paint can all be indicators of ice dam damage.

  2. Insulate and ventilate. One of the major causes of ice dams is insufficient insulation and venting in the attic. The insulation keeps warm air in your house, while the venting system keeps your attic cool. Together, this clever combination keeps snow on the roof from melting. If that snow never melts ice dams shouldn’t form.

  3. Roof rake. Using a roof rake is one of the easiest ways to prevent ice dams from forming and an efficient way to remove dams already up there. You can find them at most hardware stores — and chances are you’re not the only one in your neighborhood to buy one! A roof rake lets you clear the snow from the bottom portion of the roof, so any moisture and snowmelt has a clear run-off path. By keeping water off the roof, ice dams never have the chance to form.

More tips on how to prevent ice dams.

Here are more ways to get your home ready for winter:

Stay dry and protect your home by preventing frozen pipes. Pipes are prone to bursting in the cold winter months when freezing temperatures cause pressure inside pipes to rise. Learn how to prep pipes for the winter with these tips.

Avoid hefty heating bills and carbon monoxide leaks. Your furnace should be inspected by a professional once every year, but it’s also up to you to properly maintain your furnace throughout winter to ensure your family’s safety and keep heating costs down. Here are a few ways you can monitor your furnace throughout the winter:

Keep your home cozy with fireplace maintenance. A warm fireplace is one of the best parts of winter. Check out these tips to make sure your fireplace is prepped inside and outside so you can enjoy a toasty winter season.

Deck the halls confidently this season. Before you put up strings of lights and bring trees indoors, learn how to avoid creating fire hazards out of holiday decorations here.

Don’t leave the list-making only to Santa. Make your own list of steps to protect your home – and even check it twice.


Source for ice dam image: Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017, is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 315 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web; Facebook; Twitter