Prepare your home in advance of the next winter freeze

Snow and cold weather resulted in billions of dollars in damage and hundreds of thousands of insurance claims last winter.

Tips for preparing your home in advance of another freeze:

  • Get your chimney inspected and cleaned. Creosote buildup can start a fire.
  • Test your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. Replace alarms that are 10 years old or more.
  • Trim trees hanging over your house and cars.
  • Seal leaks or cracks around bathroom and kitchen pipes.
  • Wrap outdoor pipes and indoor pipes in unheated areas (like a clothes washer in your garage).
  • Drain lawn sprinkler lines and house fire sprinklers.
  • Find your water shut-off valve. It’s usually under a metal lid near the street.
  • If you leave your house before a freeze, turn off the water at the shut-off valve and leave your heat on.

Have a question about insurance? Call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439 or visit


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