Protecting Your Home Against Seasonal Weather Threats

Community Manager
Community Manager
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By Angela Epley

 

The American Dream has evolved over the years, but home ownership remains a cornerstone of that grand vision, among the largest and most important investments you'll ever make. Of course, the cost of owning a home includes much more than a mortgage, which is why it’s so important to protect your home against seasonal weather threats.

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s usually less expensive to invest in preventive measures and costlier to fix something after the fact. And while weather across the entire nation may be more or less extreme depending on the region, there are a few tried-and-true ways to protect your home during seasonal transitions.

 

Winter to Spring

 

As temperatures warm and greenery returns to the landscape, homes and buildings begin to thaw out. Look for damage caused by ice and snow that might make spring showers unpleasant:

 

  • Inspect your roof for holes. 
  • Clean your gutters to prevent water leakage or damage.
  • Wash and patch screens.
  • Fill and repair cracks in your driveway or sidewalk.
  • Touch up any cracked or peeling paint.
  • Trim trees (especially branches that might fall in a storm).

 

Spring to Summer

 

Mother Nature’s vitality is in full swing during this seasonal transition. This is the time to fortify against heavy showers, as well as any exterior landscaping such as flora and fauna that can’t be brought inside:

 

  • Replace vent screens and repair cracks where pests may enter.
  • Trim vegetation around your air conditioning unit outdoors to prevent blockage.
  • Make sure air conditioning ducts and condensation pipes are clear and in good shape.
  • Spruce up outdoor areas, like your deck or walkways, for warm-weather entertaining.

 

Summer to Fall

 

Guard against extreme heat and hurricanes — both of which have been making more headlines in recent years:

 

  • Check windows and doors for proper insulation to reduce air conditioning leakage.
  • Consider installing window reflectors, like aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Clear gutters to prevent leaves from sparking fire.
  • Maintain landscaping to prevent ground fire from spreading. (Tip: Firewood should be stored at least 30 feet from the house.)
  • Install double-paned or tempered glass to prevent heat breakage.
  • Prep an emergency kit in the event of severe weather, which can ramp up as warm and cold temperatures in the air and water clash during this seasonal transition.

 

Fall to Winter

 

The daylight hours begin to give way to longer nights, so take care of these tasks before the temperatures plummet:

 

  • Insulate walls, basement, attic and pipes (both indoors and out).
  • Drip both hot and cold line faucets before freezing weather arrives to prevent pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.
  • Add weather stripping to windows and doors to keep warmth inside.

 

Sometimes damage isn’t obvious and can fall through the cracks. Is it time to file a property claim?

 

Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, and its affiliate property and casualty insurance companies is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

 

The typical homeowners policy doesn't include flood coverage, and in some locations, you may also need to obtain a wind-only insurance policy. Flood insurance can be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program. The maximum limits of coverage available on the federal flood policy for residences are $250,000 on the building and $100,000 on contents. If you need additional flood insurance coverage beyond these amounts, you can contact USAA Insurance Agency which works with other insurance companies that provide excess flood coverage.

 

Flood insurance is not underwritten by USAA or its affiliates, and is provided by USAA General Indemnity Company, through an arrangement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Federal government has financial responsibility for underwriting losses.

 

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