Security and Safety

Prep Your Home for Texas’ Next Ice Storm

By Staci Parks 1.8.24

Every corner of the state was impacted by 2021’s Winter Storm Uri. That experience has left many of us with an eagerness to get ahead of ice storms. If the Farmers’ Almanac is right, Texas is in for “unseasonably cold” and stormy winter weather in early 2024. Here’s how you can prepare your home for the next big ice storm.

Protect the Pipes

Did you know that water damage is one of the most common types of property claims in Texas? You can take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing, such as:

  • Opening cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom to allow warm air to circulate near the pipes.
  • Allowing water to trickle from the faucet.
  • Installing covers on outside faucets.
  • Closing inside valves that supply outdoor hose bibbs and then opening the bibbs to drain the water.
  • Wrapping pipes that run against exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or sleeves.

Have an Alternate Heating Method

As many of us learned the hard way in 2021, an ice storm can result in days or weeks without power. Plan for a backup heating method, whether that’s a gas-powered or wood-burning fireplace or a generator. Keep in mind: This is also a good time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected and to replace batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights.

Do a Perimeter Check & Maintenance

Walk around the interior and exterior of your home, checking for any vulnerable areas that need attention before winter weather moves in.

  • Trim any wayward tree limbs and clean up debris that could be blown around. (Proper tree care goes a long way in protecting trees and your home.)
  • Inspect your roof to ensure there aren’t any damaged shingles to prevent potential water damage.
  • Clear your gutters of leaves and anything else that can impact water flow.
  • Seal and caulk any drafts or cracks, such as exterior windows and doorways.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Contact your Agent if you have any questions about your property coverage after inspecting and prepping your home for the next ice storm. This is also a great time to assess your coverage limits and add anything new to your policy. After all, your Agent can’t help protect and cover what they don’t know about!

After the Freeze

Once the freeze has passed, do a walk-through of your home and the exterior to check for any water damage. You’ll look for dripping or pooled water and any wet spots on walls; listen for any odd banging, bubbling, or whistling sounds. If you find any damage, it’ll give you a chance to stop it before it gets worse — and alert your Agent should you need to file a claim.

Learn more about how to stay safe during the next winter storm.

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