Protect Your Home and Family from Freezing Temperatures

Updated: June 2015

For many of us, winter means cold winds, frost, sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow. Severe winter weather can cause deterioration or even substantial damage to your house, resulting in costly repairs.

Roof gables with snowflake icon.

Preparation and Prevention Tips for Cold Weather

Before severe winter weather takes place:

Insulate your outside walls, unheated areas and attic.

Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to reduce wind drafts.

Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic film from the inside.

Detach all gardening hoses and shut off water supply to outside faucets.

Install faucet covers to all external faucets.

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Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape.

Allow faucets to drip lukewarm water, to minimize the chances of a pipe freeze.

Tag the location of your main water valve and make sure you can easily turn it on and off.

If you have a thermostat that uses a battery, be sure to replace it regularly.

Keep garage doors closed to help eliminate drafts in the attached house.

During power failures, disconnect your electrical appliances to avoid damage from power surges, which can occur once the power is restored.

Carefully remove snow build-up on your roof to avoid ice and snow damage to the roof or interior of the home.

Special thanks to the following organization for contributions to this information: The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

This section highlights examples of safety precautions you can consider to help prepare yourself, others and your personal property. Please recognize that a particular precaution may not be appropriate or effective in every circumstance. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what's appropriate.

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