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Cold can cause more damage than snow

February 25, 2015

There are many problems that stem from winter weather, and more often cold rather than snow causes them to occur. Cold can cause a great deal of damage to your home. However, having homeowner's insurance on your side can prevent these issues from becoming serious financial burdens.

Cold is more dangerous than snow in the winter months.

Insurance companies are primed for cold weather, and home insurance policies tend to be much more forgiving when it come to cold temperatures causing damage to your home than snow. The biggest concern regarding cold temperatures is bursting pipes.

“It's not so much snow; it's cold, so they're expecting burst pipes,” Rick Stein, owner of Rockville, Maryland-based Rick Stein insurance Agency, told WTOP news.

But just because you have home insurance and are confident that your policy protects you from damages of this type, that doesn't mean you should be careless with the cold weather. In fact, you should take extra precautions so that you don't have to rely on your insurance. Repairs, especially in dangerous weather, sometimes can't happen right away. You don't want to be in a position where your pipes break, you have no place to go and you are at the mercy of others to fix them.

Spread the warmth

Make sure your heat is reaching all parts of your house, as just having it on might not be enough in some frigid conditions. Your bathroom vanity, kitchen sink and some other pipes are in your cabinets, and heat isn't getting through as much as it should. Keep your cabinets open wherever there are exposed pipes underneath to allow heat to reach the pipes.

While this tactic won't protect pipes on the exterior of your house or pipes that are in your foundation, it will be a big help in keeping those indoor pipes from freezing.

Also, letting your faucet drip just a bit will keep some movement in your pipes, which will help prevent freezing. Pipes have an easier time freezing if there is no movement inside, so by letting your faucet drip just a bit, you are helping the pipe more than you realize.

Leaving room doors open can help with your pipes as well. For example, try to leave your bathroom door open as frequently as possible during frigid temperatures. While you probably have a heating vent in your bathroom, letting heat from the rest of the house circulate into the room will be beneficial.

The opposite rule applies for rooms that don't have pipes and maybe have drafty windows or less insulation. Cold air can invade these rooms and spread to other areas of the house. Keep doors to those rooms closed so you trap any cold air that is getting into the home. This will also help your heating bill costs, as your heat won't have to kick on as frequently because the home will generally stay warmer.

Cold harms vehicles too

Cold is a bigger worry for vehicles. Sure, snow causes trouble for getting around, but freezing temperatures can cause damage to your car battery and gas tank.

It is not uncommon for batteries to die in the cold weather because freezing temperatures can drain the voltage. Your vehicle fluids will also thicken in frigid weather, making it more difficult for your vehicle to run as efficiently as it should.

Make sure to keep your car in a garage while temperatures are dropping. Additionally, as important as home insurance is to protecting your house in the winter, auto insurance will help make sure your car is running smoothly by the time spring rolls around.

Stay safe during the cold months and protect yourself and your assets.