Is Your Home Winter-Wise?

Ice Dams and Frozen Pipes May Lead to Significant Damage and Costly Repairs

Dec 15, 2010, 08:00 ET from Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.

FREMONT, Mich., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As icy weather returns to Michigan, predictions from a variety of sources have residents preparing for another long, cold winter.  The Old Farmer's Almanac (, is calling for a bitterly cold year with lots of snowy weather for Michigan, so now is the time to make sure that your home is ready to weather the months ahead.   Fremont Insurance (OTC Bulletin Board: FMMH), a Michigan-exclusive property and casualty insurance carrier, offers a few tips to help Michigan homeowners winterize their homes against two of the most significant winter risks: ice dams and frozen pipes.  

"Michigan winters are notorious for their severity and the extensive damage that they can inflict on a home," said Kurt Dettmer, Vice President of Marketing for Fremont Insurance.  "There are some simple things that you can do to prepare your home, and also some steps to take throughout the winter."

Ice Dams occur when heavy snow buildup melts during the day then refreezes as temperatures drop overnight.  After several days of this cycle, the melted water and ice work up under the shingles entering the attic and damaging ceilings, walls and contents.  To help prevent dams from forming:

  • Keep gutters and down spouts clear of debris, snow and ice, so melting roof snow can flow
  • Keep snow on your roof to a minimum.  Roof rakes let you stand on the ground to safely pull the snow off the roof
  • Evaluate attic insulation and ventilation.  Good airflow is essential to a cool, dry attic

Frozen Water Pipes cause extensive damage to many homes and businesses every winter.  If you think turning the heat down while you're away or on vacation will save you money, think again.  If your water pipes freeze and burst, it could cause thousands of dollars in damage.  Homeowners can take some simple preventive measures:

  • Locate and insulate pipes susceptible to freezing – typically near outer walls, in crawl spaces, or in the attic  
  • Wrap pipes with UL-approved heat tape and seal air leaks  
  • Disconnect garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets  
  • Drain and shut off the water supply (except indoor sprinkler systems) if you expect to be away for several days
  • Have someone check regularly to ensure the heat is still on and things are okay
  • Make sure you and your family knows how to shut off the water to your home

If you do discover frozen pipes:

  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch
  • If pipes burst, stop the flow of water as soon as possible to minimize damage
  • Be mindful of the risk of electric shock in and around standing water
  • Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent right away

About Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.

Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc. ( is the holding company for Fremont Insurance Company. Headquartered in Fremont, Mich., the company provides property and casualty insurance to individuals, farms and small businesses exclusively in Michigan. Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp's common stock trades under the symbol "FMMH."

SOURCE Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.