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Prevent these 4 winter home problems now

(BPT) - When you start feeling those
first hints of winter, the instinct to get
ready kicks in. You may dig out your
car’s snow brush, blanket, shovel and
winter survival kit and place them in the
trunk of your car. The winter coats and
boots come out of storage, and you may
pick up some extra mittens.
But what do you do to protect your
house against the hazards of winter?
If you don’t take time for maintenance
and winterization now, you can end up
paying for it later, in the form of higher
energy bills, frozen pipes or fixing a
broken furnace.
Here are four common problems that
can hit home during the winter and how
you can ward them off.
Sky-high energy bills: Do your
electric bills rise during the wintertime?
Heating your home accounts for about
half of your home’s energy bills,
according to the U.S. Department of
Energy. Combat the cold by sealing
off any cracks or gaps with caulk and
inspect entrances for worn or broken
weatherstripping. Schedule a furnace
inspection with an HVAC contractor
and consider installing a smarter
thermostat. Learning thermostats can
remember your favorite temperatures,
turning down when you leave for work,
and returning to your favorite temp at
the end of the day.
Water leaks: According to the
Insurance Information Institute,
water damage accounts for half of all
property damage claims. Add winter’s
freezing temperatures to the mix, and
you can end up with a big problem if

your home has a power
outage or your furnace
malfunctions.
For extra peace of
mind, there’s now a leak
and flood protection
system you can purchase
that shuts off your water
main’s supply when it
detects leaks - and sends
an alert to your smart
device. LeakSmart Snap
installs in seconds without
any tools or the need to
cut into the main water
supply line. Wireless
sensors placed around the
house can detect a leak
or temperature changes
and shut down the whole
house water supply in
seconds. It is compatible
with LeakSmart Hub 3.0, which offers
battery back-up and built in Wi-Fi for
24/7 whole home protection.
Power outages: When a winter
storm hits, the ice and wind can break
power lines and interrupt the supply
of electricity to our homes. It’s not
uncommon for some outages to last for
days, which is why it’s always smart to
be prepared.
Before winter hits, make certain
your generator or other backup power
source has ample fuel and is in good
working order. Keep basic supplies at
the ready, so you can keep your family
comfortable. Make sure you have extra
blankets, stocking caps, batteries and
fully charged power banks for your

mobile phones. It’s also good to have
a few gallons of fresh water and some
cans of ready-to-eat chili and stew. If
you have a camp stove, keep it in an
easy-to-reach place, along with a fuel
supply.
Ice dams: Another thing to watch for
in the winter are pools of water forming
on your roof. These can be caused by
ridges of snow and ice, and eventually
cause leaks to the interior of your home.
Ice dams can also lead to the formation
of large, pointy icicles that hang from
the gutters, which can fall and injure
people.
A little work upfront can go a long
way toward preventing ice dams and
the damage they can cause. First, make
sure the gutters and downspouts are

clear of leaves and other yard debris, so
the snowmelt has a place to go. Next,
poke your head into the crawlspace
of your attic and see if the insulation
layer is still thick enough to keep the
heat from escaping through the roof.
While you’re up there, look for gaps
and leaks. Finally, this is an appropriate
time to invest in a simple snow rake, so
you can easily remove wet, heavy snow
from your roof before the dams can start
forming.
Now that you know the most
common winter hazards that can hit
home, you can take the steps to protect
your investment and keep your family
comfortable and safe.
To learn more about protecting your
home, visit LeakSmart.com.

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