At MAPFRE, your safety and peace of mind are essential to us. Because insurance is a serious business, we focus on that, so you can focus on the critical moments in life and not worry about the “what ifs.”
As the winter begins and temperatures fall across many parts of the country, it’s important to make sure your home is prepared for harsh conditions and that you avoid hazards that can damage your home. Because MAPFRE cares about you, we are sharing some helpful recommendations.
If you live in an area where you have to deal with snow and ice, you may already know that it can bring unwelcome damage to your home. An example of such damage is ice dams, which are ridges of ice that form when heat inside your home enters the attic and melts snow on the roof. As the snow melts and drips down the roof, it refreezes, leading to ice buildup and a backup of water.
Ice dams can not only cause falling ice, but water can cause damage to the roof and shingles and your home’s ceiling and walls. Water leaks can also damage wall insulation and increase the chances of mold. There are many ways to avoid ice dams, including ensuring your attic is adequately insulated and sealed and keeping all rain gutters, drains, downspouts, and scuppers free from debris.
When temperatures drop below 32 degrees, water expands as it freezes. That’s why keeping your home heated to at least 65 degrees during the winter is important because you don’t want your pipes to freeze or burst. Remember that a frozen or burst pipe can lead to costly repairs and possibly increase your annual premium if you need to file a claim. As the cold temperatures arrive, there are several steps you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Another way to protect your home is to install an automatic leak detection system for your pipes. A smart water leak detector can find hidden leaks using sensors to monitor pipe pressure, flow rates, temperature, and whether valves are open or closed. The sensors then send an alarm to you identifying that there is an issue.
Many people turn to space heaters during the winter as an alternative way to heat their homes. Space heaters are associated with an estimated 21,800 residential fires every year and can potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation. Among the proper safety precautions you should follow if you do have to use a space heater to keep warm, are to make sure it’s plugged directly into an electrical outlet, it’s placed on a solid surface, it has an automatic shutoff, and that you have a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Candles may be beautiful as snow falls outside, but they cause home fires and home fire deaths. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles cause an estimated 15,600 house fires, 150 deaths, and 1,270 injuries per year. If you plan on burning candles, make sure you never leave a burning candle unattended, keep candles away from anything that could catch fire, and make sure candles are out of reach of children and pets.
We hope you found these tips helpful as you stay warm this winter! To ensure you get the right coverage for your home if you are not a MAPFRE Insurance customer yet, talk to an independent agent in your state or get a fast, free quote today in Massachusetts to see how much you could save!