Building Resilient Homes: Taking on Winter Weather
Water damage claims are four times more severe among the PURE membership when they occur in homes that are unoccupied. When no one is there to notice it, water can run undetected for days or more.– Jason Metzger, SVP, Head of Risk Management
Hire a local caretaker for your home.
For homeowners who have multiple properties and can’t be physically present in all their homes at once, it is important to have a trusted friend or caretaker who is local and able to visit your unoccupied home as needed.
Maintain the temperature in your home.
You can significantly reduce the likelihood of frozen and burst pipes when you keep the temperature of your home set to at least 65 degrees. You can also utilize smart-home technology, such as Google Home or Nest, to monitor and control the temperature in your home while you’re away.
Use technology to prevent water losses.
Low-temperature sensors are designed to alert you to unusually low temperatures in your home and give you the opportunity to intervene before damage can occur. When combined with an automatic water shut-off device, which allows you to remotely turn off your water supply and alerts you if a leak is detected, your risk for water damage is greatly reduced.
Have an alternate power source if the power goes out.
A permanently installed whole-home generator restores electricity during a power outage. This mitigates costly losses by keeping critical home systems running and helps to maintain heat throughout the home which is instrumental in preventing burst pipes.
Don’t forget about the attic.
Many burst pipes claims originate in the attic. HVAC systems, water heaters and other water lines are commonly placed in the attic and are more susceptible to freezing during cold snaps because they are away from the heat of the home. You can keep these pipes safe by making sure your attic is properly insulated, as well as the pipes themselves.
If you are replacing your roof, make it more resilient.
A roofing underlayment is a protective layer that sits between your shingles and roof deck and helps to prevent water intrusion and mold. We recommend an underlayment that specifically protects against rain and ice dams. Install it all the way from the eave’s edge to a point at least two feet past the building’s exterior wall (farther for low-slope roofs), as well as in roof valleys.