If you watched videos the morning of Groundhog Day, you saw that the groundhog saw his shadow – which tradition says means we have six more weeks of winter to look forward to. Actually, it turns out that the groundhog test is only reliable 40% of the time over history, but if weather around the country is any indication, he’s right this time.
It’s not too late to shore up your home against more cold weather and rain. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has these ideas for keeping your home safe and dry for the last weeks of winter:
- Protect your pipes – Take another look for exposed pipes and insulate them – pipes that break or freeze are the second most common cause for home insurance claims. Also, an easy tip is to keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees, even when you’re away. Experts also recommend learning how to turn off your main water line if necessary.
- Clear out gutters – For any of you who haven’t gotten around to this chore yet, get your ladder out soon. Water that pools from a clogged cutter can cause real damage to everything from the roof to the foundation, among other possibilities. Ideally, you would clean the gutters twice a year, in the spring and fall.
- Watch for leaks – This step will also pay off during spring rains. Caulk any cracks you see around doors, windows, and chimneys. Also keep an eye out for stains on your ceilings or paint that’s discolored, which could mean there’s a leak in the roof.
- Check washing machine hoses – These hoses can burst and flood a room fast. Rubber hoses should be swapped out every three years. You can also consider replacing them with sturdier hoses that are reinforced with steel.
- Confirm your homeowner’s coverage – If you bought your house years ago, take a moment to review your coverage and limits. Those who live in areas prone to storms may want to think about special coverage for damage from floodwaters.
This winter, the groundhog went back to his warm and dry burrow for a while longer; hopefully these tips can keep your home warm and dry as well.