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How Can I Prepare for Winter Months so My Property Isn't Damaged?

Getting your rental property ready for the winter months ahead of time can help you avoid damage later on, which in turn can save you from having to file a claim. Work with your landlord to get your home ready for winter. Here are some easy things you can do to make sure your rented house or condo is ready for the cold weather.

• Make sure smoke/gas/carbon monoxide alarms are installed, work properly and have functional batteries.

• Get your furnace ready. Check ducts to make sure they're clean, and pick up some filters.

• Inspect windows and doors for cracked seals and drafts, and correct them before the cold comes. Install plastic window covers over them to cut down on drafts if need be.

• Make sure the gutters and roof are in proper working order to avoid winter leaks and ice problems. Roof troubles cause many winter time renters insurance property claims. Avoiding these claims can save both you and your landlord money. Clear the roof of any debris such as twigs and leaves. Make sure not to force the gutter system to work any harder than it has to during the freeze/thaw cycles of winter weather. Clean out the gutters and confirm that downspouts are properly attached and functioning.

• Take a good look at the plumbing. If there is any plumbing exposed to the cold weather, make sure it is insulated. Check the existing insulation on any pipes and replace any that's damaged or that does not appear fully functional.

• Look out for any trees or other things that may be in danger of falling onto your home under the weight of winter snow. Trim trees and have utility personnel out as needed to address power line problems.

• Get your shovels and snow blowers in proper working order so you can maintain driveway and sidewalls to avoid injuries to you or to others.

• Work with your landlord to inspect the full property from foundation to rooftop to make sure everything is in good shape and ready for winter weather. Many renters insurance claims can be avoided with a little planning ahead.

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