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How to Be a Homeowner in the Wintertime

19-SDHousing-0616-Oct2019_HowtoBeaHomeownerintheWintertime

When it comes to being a homeowner, there are lots of feelings you may experience over the years. Homeownership is part of the American dream to many, but with that comes certain responsibilities—especially in the wintertime. Winters in South Dakota are all too familiar for some of us, but it's always a good reminder that winter requires some extra attention. Preparing for the long winter months can help you avoid costly problems. 

Get your house winter-ready with these handy tips!

INTERIOR

Let's face it—winters can be all over the place in terms of severity. When dealing with snow, ice, high winds and freezing temperatures, there's plenty of opportunity for damage to be done to homes. A lot of these damages can cost you a pretty penny.

Water Damage

The average homeowner's insurance claim for water damage due to frozen pipes bursting is more than $8,000. To prevent frozen pipes, first and foremost, make sure your heating system is working properly.

Heat Retention

It's always encouraged to make sure your heating system is functional prior to the long winter ahead. Seal any cracks or holes to keep outdoor air from reaching the pipes that run close to exterior walls. This will protect your pipes to help ensure safety.  

Power Backup

After concluding your heating system is working properly, you may want to consider installing a generator for power-loss emergencies. This will make sure you home is safe, always warm and has power whenever disaster might strike. 

EXTERIOR

Tree Maintenance

Be mindful of trees. Heavy snow and ice can easily snap tree branches. Falling branches can be dangerous and costly. Trees snap without warning, so make sure you and your property are safe from falling limbs. Damage to roofs, porches or siding can cost thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Garden Considerations

Make sure garden hoses and tools are all brought inside. Freezing temperatures can destroy hoses and warp tools. Don’t forget to mark your garden beds, pathways and driveways too. After heavy snowfalls, you’ll want to be sure you know where you’re shoveling or snowplowing. Lawns and garden beds can easily be damaged or destroyed with reckless snow removal.

Gutter Cleanliness

During the springtime as the ground thaws and snow melts, flooding becomes a real threat. Be sure your gutters are clean throughout the winter. Clogged gutters can trap water, and once they freeze, your gutters can become damaged. Make sure your gutters’ downspouts are also displacing water away from your house’s foundation.


According to the Insurance Information Institute, losses from snow, ice and frigid temperatures average about $1.2 billion per year. Don't get stuck paying avoidable bills. Make sure your spirits are high, even when the temperature drops. 

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Topics: Homeownership

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