Fall tends to be a season where people enter new phases in their lives. Here are few tips and tricks to reduce risk to your properties.

Preparing your home for winter is important. Make sure you’ve serviced your furnace before the cold months arrive and turn off any outside taps to prevent pipes from freezing. If you have a seasonal property with plumbing, either drain the pipes or make sure the thermostat is set high enough to prevent freezing. It’s usually a good idea to get a local neighbor to regularly check on the property as well!

Check key problems for heat loss to avoid claims and save money, as the weather becomes cooler in the fall, it's a great time to check for places where heat is escaping your home or cold air is getting in like window panes, door seals and thresholds. Doing a check for some key problem areas will help prevent weather related water damage. Remember, if air can get in, there's a good chance water may also find the same path. The worst kind of water damage is the damage that happens gradually before you notice it. Gradual damage is not covered by insurance, so it becomes especially important for you to prevent gradual damage from happening.

Check these potential problem areas to avoid water damage.

Clean out water backup valves. If you have a water backup valve or sump pump, fall is a good time to make sure everything is in good working order.

Check the condition of your pipes. If your home is old or you notice lowered water pressure, this could be a sign that your pipes are blocked, filled with roots from trees, or possibly deteriorating. You can have a plumber or drain professional check your pipes with a camera and let you know if everything is in good condition.

Shut off the water supply to your outdoor water faucets. And don't forget to put away your outdoor hose if the temperature falls below freezing in your area.

Clean gutters and drains. Check the gutters and drains around your home and make sure they are not blocked by autumn leaves or other debris.

By taking actions to winterize your home, you can help reduce the chances of burst pipes, broken downspouts, water damage and cold air infiltrating your home. Save money on energy and avoid unnecessary insurance claims.