Friday, May 29, 2015

Prepare Now for Winter Risks

The winter months are some of the busiest times of the year for insurance companies. That’s because winter, with its ice, snow, and freezing cold temperatures, brings all kinds of risks. There is a marked increase in snow and ice related car accidents, fires from improperly used heaters, and a host of other winter-related problems. One of the most common is a collapsed roof, caused by too much heavy snow and ice accumulating on top of a roof. Hopefully, that won’t happen to you- there are things you can do to reduce your risk- but if it does, you’ll want to make sure it’s covered by your insurance provider!

Risk Factors             

First and foremost, you should determine how at risk you are for a collapsed roof. Certain factors can make your roof more vulnerable than others. If you find that your roof is vulnerable to collapsing, you’ll want to take certain preventative steps to reduce the chances of that happening. Take action if your roof has any of the following high risk factors:

·        Faulty or outdated building design/building or home not up to code
·        Lightweight roofing material
·        A flat roof surface
·        Having a skylight or vent
·        Drainage problems
·        Problems with ventilation
·        Poor insulation

Bear in mind that none of these factors guarantee that your roof is going to collapse. They simply indicate that it’s more likely to do so and that you should be on guard as the winter months approach.

Prevention
If you know that your roof is vulnerable, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of a collapse. Calling in professionals to inspect your roof and to fix any serious problems is always a smart idea. You can also make the effort to manually clean your roof on a regular basis, especially before and after snow. This is especially important for roofs that are flat, have poor drainage, or have skylights or vents, all features that make it harder for a roof to get rid of snow on its own. If your roof is in serious trouble, and cleaning and professional help aren’t really enough to make much of a difference, you may want to consider a roof replacement before winter really sets in.

Check Your Coverage

No matter how much care you take to protect your roof, unexpected accidents and events do sometimes occur. Since you never know when a roof collapse might happen, at least make sure your roof is covered by your property insurance. Many policies, surprisingly, don’t cover collapsed roofs, so you might want to get that coverage written into your policy if you know your roof is vulnerable. The bottom line is that if your roof is causing you concern, you want to do everything within your power to get it covered…just in case.