Taking Precautions Against Winter Storms and Blizzards

Storms and blizzards create much havoc in winter and leave homeowners patching up the damage year after year. Are you reasonably well prepared to face nature’s onslaught, at least in the coming season?

Preventing an ice dam from damaging your roof

Icicles dangling from the edges of your roof may have the potential to damage the roof outright. The heat escaping into your attic could make the ice melt on the roof making water trickle down the slope and freeze into icicles at the roof edge. The resultant water damming weakens the roof over a longer period. The best solution is to prevent home heat from leaking into the attic and to create a vent that will allow some cold air to waft inside and keep the attic a few shades nearly as cold as the air outside.

Preventing pipes from freezing up in extreme weather

Pipes that run in the attic, basement and sides of the building can freeze up and burst, especially in extreme weather. Wrap the pipes in ordinary insulation or electrical heat tape. Open up the cabinets below washbasins and sinks and allow the home heat to warm the pipes and permit the taps to trickle out water slowly.

Preventing your roof from collapsing

Most roofs are structured to withstand a pressure of around twenty pounds per square foot, but your roof may not be able to take more than two feet of packed snow, necessitating frequent raking to remove excess snow. The website DisasterSafety.org has a complete factsheet on protecting roofs from collapsing in extreme weather.

Preventive maintenance around the home

Cut overhanging branches around the home, keep gutters and downspouts clean from accumulated dirt, and landscape the gardens so that water runs away from the home safely into external drainage thereby protecting your foundation. Just check whether personal liability insurance covers you if a tree damages the neighbor’s property.

Emergency preparedness is a must

Assuming you face an extreme weather related crisis that cuts you off without power, it may take three or four days for the ground situation to improve. The best solution is to stock emergency supplies like food and water sufficient for each member of the family and your pets, along with flashlights and extra batteries, a fuel operated power generator for charging a laptop or mobile and a good quantity of medicines to last ten days. Keep cash ready to survive ATM blackouts and Bank closures. If possible opt for a land phone that doesn’t use electric power.

Strengthening your roof and getting top insurance cover

Strengthening the roof with force resisting roofing material gets you a whopping 30% discount in disaster insurance cover. In a similar fashion augmenting windows and doors with storm shutters will benefit you through discounts up to 25% on insurance premiums.

Protecting against flood damage

Post Super Storm Sandy people realized that the typical homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damages. Get tips on the best flood insurance policies from FloodSmart.gov.

Damage caused by sewage backing up into your home

Though this is not covered by normal homeowner policies, a small premium of $50 can cover a sump pump breakdown up to $20,000. Installing a backup sump that runs on batteries could be an effective disaster fighting measure.

Tackling power outages

A natural gas powered backup generator is a great help when power goes out resulting in total breakdown of all home systems that run on electricity. Think of using battery operated versions of essential electronic home appliances and machine tools.

If a cash shortage is preventing you from adopting home protective measures try a vehicle title loan

The cash loan for title is very quick off the block and gets you more than 60% of the equity in your car and all it requires is the collateral of the car title. The car equity loan charges 25% APR interest that is considerably lower than many other short or medium term loan options. The auto collateral loan will see you push in smaller loan repayments that do not strain your existing income. The loan for vehicle title can be availed even if your credit record is below par.

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