NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Many parts of the state are under the first freeze warning of the season and experts say that means there is some work to be done inside and outside of your house.
They say the first order of business is to protect your pipes.
Disconnect outdoor hoses, turn off water to sprinkler systems, and open sink cabinets to expose the pipes to heated air.
The North Dakota Insurance Commissioner, Jon Godfread says, now is a perfect time to check your carbon monoxide detectors too, and replace them if they are more than 10 years old. He says the first frost is a perfect time to prep your home for the entire winter, which can prevent severe damage come next spring.
“You’ve got to think of it as you’re preparing for that next big spring melt,” said Godfread. “So maybe if that gives people a little bit more excitement to get it done, it’s how do we prep for the spring? So that’s detaching your garden hoses, making sure you’ve got a roof rake ready if you need that for heavy snow on your roof, and certainly cleaning those gutters. Because when that snow does melt you’re going to have to have somewhere for that water to go.”
Godfread also says snowbirds should make sure the temperature in their homes is set at 55 degrees or higher before they leave for the winter, to ensure their pipes don’t burst.
He says now is the time to touch base with your insurance agent to make sure coverage is for the remainder of the year, and next year. Insurance companies only accept claims when these steps have been taken, so it’s important to do everything you can to prevent house damage.
“A lot of time your traditional homeowner’s insurance won’t cover a pipe burst if you didn’t set your thermostat high enough if you didn’t take some steps to mitigate that risk,” explained Godfread. “There may be some issues of coverage there. We also encourage now is a really good time to talk to your insurance agent. Make sure you’ve got that water back up or anything like that for those unexpected things that may happen.”
He says to also talk to your agent about flood insurance and not to forget to insulate your attic where snow could cause your roof to cave in.