Winter is a great time in Ontario. There are many great things to see and do from walking in parks and trails to playing sports and tobogganing. And Then there are the not-so fun things like scraping ice from your car windows and shoveling snow. Did you know that 5cm of snow on a typical driveway can weigh over 300kg?! Leading up to winter have you thought about what you need to do to winterize your home?
Here are 5 great tips to prepare your home for the winter months:
1. Have your home furnace checked and serviced properly on an annual basis. All gas appliances should also be checked as well. In January 2013 there was a house gas explosion in the Activa area of Kitchener. A family of 13 had to live away from their home and even when they could go back, they were afraid about further gas leak issues. To read more about that explosion Metronews article click here. To calm residents in the area the City of Kitchener offered free home inspections for gas furnaces and 161 gas leaks were found in 300 homes. Thankfully, the leaks were not dangerous. However, this just underscores how important it is to maintain your gas appliances to protect your family!
2 As the snow piles up it’s important to ensure your furnace and hot water heater vents are free from obstruction. While you’re at it, check your CO (Carbon Monoxide) and smoke detectors to ensure they are working at peak efficiency.
Related Read: A Spring Home Checklist
3. Check your eaves troughs and downspouts and clear any debris or build up. Channeling water away from your home can prevent ice damming and lessens the likelihood of water getting into your home. And if the downspouts extend at least three feet from your foundation it will help with proper drainage.
4. If you live on a lot with mature trees, check them and make sure any weak branches are trimmed away. Heavy snow and ice could cause weakened trees and bushes to fall over and cause damage to your, or your neighbour’s, home. The last thing anyone wants is to see someone else injured because of a falling tree. Especially when it could have been avoided.
5. Drain any outside taps to be sure that there’s no water inside that could freeze and damage the piping.
Going Away On Vacation? Don't Forget These Insurance Rules
Finally, are you planning on going away over the winter months? A nice vacation getaway or for a three month retreat from the snow? When you're away for more than 4 consecutive days in the heating season make sure you're doing one or more of the following to avoid any water claim being denied:
- arrange for a competent person to enter your dwelling each day you are away to ensure that heating is being maintained, or
- shut off the water supply and have drained all the pipes and domestic water containers, or
- if your plumbing and heating system is connected to a monitored alarm station providing 24 hour service
The last thing you want to experience is returning to a home filled with water and finding out the claim won't be covered by your insurance company!
A home is the single biggest investment many people ever make. So keep it safe and secure this winter.
Related Read: Confused about why your home cost more to rebuild than what you paid for it?
We’d love to hear your suggestions for winterizing your home. Tell us below in the comments section.
Want a home insurance quote for great protection? Check out our Home Insurance Page.
Thanks for reading and have a safe winter!