A home frames our lives and shapes our memories; memories that become more precious as the years pass by. However the question that always hovers around us is what will those years bring? For while we in Longmont, CO are privileged to live in one of the most naturally beautiful areas of the country, that privilege comes with being at the mercy of her whims. Blizzards, hailstorms, torrential rains, and wildfires are always all too possible. At this time of year, it’s a sure bet that major snowstorms will be actualities, not possibilities. We can’t stop Mother Nature, but we can be ready for her. These three steps are a good place to start.
Know Your Roof
The Institute for Business and Home Safety has found that most roofs are capable of holding up to 20 lbs/sq. ft. of snow. Although many homes in snow-prone areas like ours are designed to hold more, it pays to know how much your roof can be expected to handle. These rules of thumb can help.
- Newly-fallen snow: One ft. of new snow weighs roughly five lbs/square ft. Using that as a gauge, you’re safe in assuming your roof’s surface can hold up to four ft of freshly-fallen snow.
- Old snow: Snow that has been laying on the roof tends to get packed down on its way to becoming ice. Weight-wise, three to five inches of old snow is equivalent to one ft of new snow, so figure on your roof being able to handle about two ft of old snow.
- Ice: One inch of ice is equal to one foot of snow, so a mere four inches of ice on your roof puts it in jeopardy.
The best course of action to take is to keep a roof rake handy so you can clear off snow from the ground. Never consider using a ladder to get up there. But should you do all you can and still your roof suffers damage, your friends at 1st American Insurance Agency can help you file a comprehensive insurance claim.
Don’t Forget Your Pipes
Just because your water pipes are indoors don’t forget that their precious cargo can freeze if interior temperatures get too cold. Should this happen, you can look forward to leaks and possible flooding when they thaw, incurring as much as $5,000 in water damage according to a Consumer Reports article. Areas posing the most risk include unheated spaces like attics, garages, and basements as well as exterior walls and cabinets. The Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends taking the following precautions:
- Let a faucet drip during periods of extreme cold.
- Leave doors open on cabinets housing pipes.
- Insulate pipes in crawl spaces, attics, or unheated basements with foam or fiberglass sleeves.
- At the start of winter drain exterior pipes and shut off those leading to the exterior.
- If the power goes out, use a generator or wood stove to heat pipe areas.
Should no water run when you turn on a faucet, take no chances, call a plumber. Then call us so we can get a claim started.
If you haven’t already, stock up on enough sand or salt to last you through at least the first storm. Make sure your snow shovels are in good working condition and don’t wait until the snow is piling up to make sure your snow blower works. And oh yes, – make sure you have plenty of gasoline on hand. But the best way to be prepared is to stop by 1st American Insurance Agency so we can review your home insurance policy and make sure your coverage has kept up with your Longmont CO home’s value.