Every year, Massachusetts homeowners are hit by severe winter weather. Even though it is an annual ritual, there are always many people who forget important aspects of preparation. LaPointe Construction Board-up Service experiences a barrage of phone calls each year as cars lose control, crash into properties, pipes burst, and ice-laden tree branches fall and damage homes.
There isn’t anything that you can do to stop the cold from coming. Fortunately, there is plenty that you can do to protect yourself from loss.
If possible, move your vehicles inside a garage or shed. If you have an older battery, consider replacing it. Make sure you equip your vehicle with an emergency kit in case you get stranded. Jumper cables can help you get the car started if the battery can’t do the job. A blanket can help you stay warm while waiting for assistance.
One of the worst winter disasters is a burst pipe. Those on exterior walls and in basements or crawl spaces are especially vulnerable. Insurance companies always see a jump in water damage claims when the temperatures drop. Adding some extra insulation and special heat tape can help to reduce your risk. When you are expecting temperatures below zero, leave faucets dripping to prevent freezing, especially if the home will be vacant for an extended period.
Another common winter problem is unsafe heating. Space heaters can be a handy way to keep a small area warm and cozy, but they can also be very dangerous. If they are too close to curtains, bedding, or other flammable materials they can catch fire. An unstable space heater can also fall over, setting fire to the floor. Some newer models have safety features built in, but you should still be cautious. Never leave a space heater running unattended. If you heat with a furnace, make sure to have it inspected and have the filter cleaned before cold weather hits. Another heating danger is using propane or other gas heaters indoors. Dangerous gas can build up inside the home. Never use a portable gas heater when sleeping.
Ice and Snow on the Roof
Over the winter months, ice and snow can build up on the roof. If it’s allowed to collect for too long, it can leak into the attic and cause water damage. Snow should be shovelled off of the roof, and then de-icing cables or a chemical de-icer can help remove the ice. If you aren’t able to get onto the roof safely, call in professional help. A fall from an icy roof is worse than some water damage!
While it might seem a little early to be thinking about snow and ice during warmer months, it’s never too early to start preparing. The cold winter weather can slip up unexpectedly, and you don’t want to be caught off guard.
For over 40 years, LaPointe has been helping homeowners here in Massachusetts prepare for the winter. We also have plenty of experience with those who forgot to prepare. If you experience fire damage, need board-up service from a fire or storm damage, or have other problems this winter, give us a call at 978-447-5991 and we will help you. You can learn more about our services by following our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LaPointeConstruction.