It’s that time of year when kids go to bed dreaming of the first snow day.  Even though we had less than three inches of snow in West Michigan this November (compared to over three feet last November), many families are making plans to take advantage of everything Michigan has to offer in the winter.  But before we find ourselves in the heart of winter, make sure your home is ready for the changing weather conditions.

As you notice ice building on the neighborhood pond, consider that ice may also be building on your roof and in your gutters, creating the infamous “ice dam.”  The ice can lift your shingles and allow water from subsequent melting to seep through cracks in the plywood decking of your roof, often damaging the ceiling and drywall inside your home.  Proper insulation in your home and attic reduces the amount of heat that escapes through the roof and can help mitigate this type of damage.  It’s also important to clean your gutters of any remaining leaves or debris from the fall as water stuck in the gutters is likely to freeze and become the catalyst for an ice dam.


And when you leave town for your winter ski or snowmobile trip, don’t forget that unexpected weather or a furnace failure can cause the temperature in your home to plummet while you are away.  Installing a smart thermostat to alert you if the temperature in your home suddenly drops is an effective and affordable way to allow you to take action before your pipes freeze and cause major water damage.  Claim statistics show that water damage losses are four times more costly when the homeowner is not home at the time of the loss.  A smart thermostat can help prevent these losses or at least lessen the amount of damage that occurs. 


A few other winter preparations to help keep your home safe and your deductible in your pocket include:

·         Disconnect outdoor hoses

·         Drain sprinkler systems

·         Stock up on salt for your driveway and sidewalks

·         Clean and inspect your chimney

·         Have your furnace checked

·         Trim overhanging tree limbs

·         Add pipe insulation to at-risk plumbing


We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.  Best wishes from our entire team as we enter the New Year!

This article was written by Brian Boer.  Please send comments and questions to

Posted 12:46 PM

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