Winter Weather Protection Can Save Big


If you have a home back home, make sure it's protected from winter storms. Every winter, weather-related damage plagues property owners with costly results. If you're away, make arrangements to protect your home.

June Walbert, a Certified Financial Planner practitioner with USAA, says whether it's water damage from burst or frozen pipes, roofs collapsed from heavy snow, or fires started from space heaters, most winter-weather-related damage is preventable.

Military families face unique challenges in that they are often homeowners who must frequently relocate. You may be unfamiliar with typical local extreme weather patterns. Or a spouse back home may not know what precautions to take. Here are some general tips:

If someone is living in the house, ensure the attic is well ventilated and the ceiling insulation keeps heat from escaping into the attic. These precautions prevent ice buildup on the roof.

At ground level, walkways and driveways should be shoveled and salted to prevent accidents.

Clear debris from gutters and drains. Remove snow buildup from window wells and walls.

Bursting pipes cause millions of dollars worth of property damage. Insulate pipes, and when temperatures dip near freezing, drip all faucets to prevent ice buildup. If no one lives in the house, and the thermostat is off, water lines should be drained and turned off by a plumber. -- Courtesy of USAA


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