It may be summer in Florida, but blue skies are not guaranteed. Seasonal changes usually mean that we can’t always live up to the title of the sunshine state.
Even in Florida, the approach of fall and winter can bring dropping temperatures and an increase in inclement weather. Among the weather changes may come an increase in precipitation. While many Floridians see more enjoyable weather during the winter, there is always a change of severe weather.
How Winter Weather Impacts the Home
Granted, the chances of seeing snow, ice or other winter weather in Florida are low. However, seasonal changes are present. As a Florida resident, you are likely aware of the coming seasonal changes. However, you may not realize how important it is to prepare your home for oncoming wet weather.
Considerable precipitation, wind and other seasonal phenomena could damage your home’s most critical parts:
- Roof: Both rain and wind could damage the roof. Most roofs last around ten years, based on the materials used to construct them. If you have an older roof, you may begin to see dry rot, mold, broken shingles and sagging structural supports. Should these damages go unchecked, they could lead to substantial roof damage. Furthermore, an aging roof may not be able to structurally withstand high winds, leading to collapses.
- Structure and Foundations: A home’s foundation helps keep it structurally sound. However, as a house ages, the structure and foundations may become more prone to damage. Damaged foundations may lead to improperly sealed houses, water damage, mold and pest infestation.
- HVAC: Most HVAC systems can withstand significant weather impacts. However, like most home systems, they will break down or corrode over time. Should damage occur, the home may face more issues than just no air conditioning. It may face pipe and wiring problems, as well as an increased fire risk.
- Electrical Risks: Increased seasonal darkness, as well as a higher chance of heat and electricity uses, may place electrical systems at risk during the winter. Precipitation may damage.
If you fail to protect your home in the event of considerable precipitation or wind, you may face costly damages and losses. Additionally, you may find that your home insurance only goes so far to help you fix your home.
Home Insurance Coverage for Winter Risks
Generally, the standard home insurance policy covers precipitation and wind damage risks. However, there are critical exceptions that every homeowner needs to remember in order to avoid having their claims denied.
- Ensure that your property damage coverage limits adequately meet the anticipated value of your home and its various structures. For example, if your roof is worth $25,000, make sure you have at least $25,000 of property coverage to help you pay for roof repairs.
- Some policies may not cover certain areas of your home. For example, they commonly only provide limited coverage for subterranean basements. Often, basements have extremely high risks that may make them uninsurable. This may include the risk for flooding, collapse, mold or pests.
- Sometimes, home insurance policies exclude certain weather phenomena from coverage. A common exclusion is flooding. Often, a home owner has to purchase a separate flood insurance policy if they want this coverage for their home. A flood risk can happen from any precipitation.
Therefore, as the seasons change, you might expect to see potential damage to your home. Nonetheless the proper home insurance can help reduce the financial losses you suffer as a result of these damages.
Preparing for Seasonal Changes in Your Home
No one can prevent every weather-related home damage. However, every homeowner can take steps to prevent excessive damage. The more you work to secure your home, the better chances you have of preventing or minimizing damage.
- Replacing your roof at the end of its lifespan helps greatly reduce the risks of leaks and collapses. Furthermore, many homeowners have a professional roofer inspect their roof once a year.
- Have the foundation seals and structure inspected yearly. A foundation specialist can often spot risks that may threaten your property in the long term. They may also be able to repair damage, re-seal breaks and spray for pests.
- Inspect the home’s HVAC and electrical systems. If you will use your heating system, have it cleaned and service before starting it for the season. If you notice any frayed wiring, broken ducts or rusted systems, have them repaired immediately. It will get dark earlier during the winter, so you will likely see changes in your electricity and utility uses during the season.
By securing your home, you increase your chances of benefiting from your home insurance policy. Your home insurance company will want to know you didn’t take any negligent risks to exacerbate or create these problems. They likely won’t cover your home for normal wear and tear or neglectful damage. Since severe weather may exacerbate existing damage, it is always best to fix small problems before they can get worse.
We’ve got you covered. Call Bouchard Insurance at 800.966.6481 for a free Tampa home insurance quote.