Tips for Dealing with Winter Safety Worries

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If history is any indication, Allstate says homeowners could be without power, using space heaters and worrying about frozen pipes after the Polar Vortex spreads across the US this week.

After the last Polar Vortex in 2014, Allstate had nearly twice as many water-related property claims compared to the months of January, February and March in 2016, 2017 and 2018 (and approximately 35% more than 2015). As some of the coldest weather in years takes over, Allstate reminds homeowners of a few simple tips and tricks to help stop further damage:

  • Avoiding or Thawing Frozen Pipes
    • The Red Cross suggests leaving cabinet doors open and using a fan to circulate the warmer air around pipes near exterior walls during a hard freeze.
    • Let water faucets slowly drip to help prevent water from freezing and to relieve pressure in the event that some water does freeze, says the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).
    • If your pipes do freeze, leave the faucet on and use a blow dryer (never an open flame torch or other device) to help heat the pipe until there’s a steady flow of water, says IBHS.
  • Handling and Preventing Ice Dams
    • In the event an ice dam forms, the National Weather Service suggests keeping the attic well ventilated — the colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on your roof.
    • To help prevent ice dams in the future, homeowners can add extra attic floor material to help keep the warm air inside their home and out of the attic before the next big cold snap, according to This Old House. You can hire an attic cleaning company for this job. You can find a perfect one by searching attic cleaning company near me online.
  • How and When to Use Space Heaters
    • Set space heaters up on a level surface and out of reach of anything flammable (at least three feet away from clothing, curtains, etc.).
    • A space heater should be plugged in directly to an outlet – not used with a power strip.
    • Space heaters should be turned off before you leave a room or go to sleep. If possible, use one with an automatic shutoff in case it falls over.

Following these tips could help prevent additional losses this winter.

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