Preparing for Winter: A Homeowner's Guide

The leaves are starting to fall, the days are getting shorter, and Husker Football is in full swing. Just around the corner is winter, and with it brings many possible headaches for homeowners. This article will give a list of items to do to prepare the exterior of your home for the winter.

The autumn chill has set upon Nebraska, whether we like it or not. The months ahead will only get colder, and with Nebraska weather you never quite know what to expect. Though there are some things you just can’t avoid (thus your Homeowner’s policy), there are a few maintenance items that you can do to help keep your home claim-free this winter:

  • Start out with a visual inspection of your roof. If it’s a pitched roof, make sure there aren't any missing shingles or tiles. Also make sure to check for warping and worn-out shingles. For those with flat roofs, make sure bubbles haven't formed, and make sure that the gravel is thoroughly covering the membrane. Have any problems fixed.
  • Next, inspect the flashing. The flashing is the covering where your roof changes from sloped to vertical (or horizontal to vertical).  It can also be found around skylights, vents, and chimneys. Worn out flashing is a great place for water to slip underneath, causing big headaches later on. Make sure to have any damaged or worn out flashing replaced.
  • While still on the roof, make sure all of the gutters and downspouts are clean. Leaves, dirt, and shingle bits can clog them (parents, you might find some missing toys while you're at it!). Clogged gutters will trap water, and when it freezes, all sorts of problems can happen.
  • Now make your way off the roof to inspect the premise. Make note of any trees with dead branches or branches that hang over your home. Make sure to have these types of branches trimmed, as the weight of snow and ice along with high winds could make them fall, damaging your roof or hurting someone walking underneath them.
  • If you found large problems with your roof and it needs to be replaced, now is the time to consider upgraded hail-proof roofing products. Many insurers will provide a discount for new roofs, and most offer an additional discount for hail-proofing.

Nobody likes claims, so take an afternoon to check over the exterior of your home. Catching a small problem before it turns into a big one could save you a lot of time and money!