Getting Your Home Winter Ready
Getting Your Home Winter Ready If you’re a George R. R. Martin fan, you know that winter is coming. And an Ontario winter means temperatures dropping below zero, and a whole lot of icy, snowy weather. There are many important things to consider as they relate to our Home Insurance. Now that we’ve covered getting your car ready for winter, it’s time to think about prepping your home for the season. Making sure your home is prepared before the bad weather hits, might save you from needing to make a claim later.
Give Your Heating System a Tune Up
Just like getting a professional to give your car a once-over, it’s a good idea to get the same done for your furnace. A professional technician can inspect your furnace and make sure your system is clean and in good repair so it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. Your technician can also measure your carbon-monoxide leakage, and it’s a good idea to have a CM monitor plugged into your home to warn you of any leaks and keep your family safe.
Inspect all Windows and Doors
Make sure all your windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent heat loss. Check the weather stripping around the door frames and windows and replace as needed. Check for drafts and caulk both inside and out to keep the heat in and cold out.
Prevent Ice Dams
What is an ice dam? An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
If your roof needs attention, call a roofer to help you with any repairs or maintenance – a roofer or contractor may be able to identify and repair any air leaks or poor insulation in your home’s attic, chimney or air vents that can lead to ice dams and repair any loose shingles you might have.
Clean your Gutters
While you’re up there, check out your gutters. Make sure your eaves are free of debris such as leaves, dirt or small branches. If your gutters are clogged it can prevent rain and melting snow from draining which will result in leaks. Extend your downspouts away from your house by at least five feet to ensure water is draining away from your home and not towards it.
Shut off Exterior Faucets
Any undrained water in your hoses or pipes can freeze, which causes the pipes to burst as the ice expands. Make sure you disconnect and drain your garden hoses and any remaining water in the faucets.
You also will want to prepare your lawn mower for the winter – as it sits the fuel remaining in the engine will decompose and can cause cracking or difficulty starting your engine in the spring. Check out your mower’s manual for cold-weather storage steps.
Call a Chimney Sweep
It doesn’t need to be Dick Van Dyke – there are lots of good professionals that will come and give your chimney a good thorough cleaning that will help prevent fires, carbon monoxide finding its way into your home, and will be able to see that your vents are in good repair. After all, when you’re with a ‘sweet, you’re in glad company!
Trim Bushes and Trees
Make sure any overgrown foliage is trimmed back away from your house and/or electrical wires to decrease your risk of power problems and property damage.
Stock Up on Winter Essentials
Don’t wait for the first snow-day to restock on things like salt or shovels – make sure you are well supplied on winter essentials such as salt or deicer to keep drive and walkways safe, shovels or snow-blower repair and maintenance, and even things such as winter gear – mittens and a good pair of boots to keep you toasty warm when battling the snow.
Have more questions about keeping your home safe and claim-free through the winter? Contact Billyard Insurance Group today at www.thebig.ca or call us at 1-855-843-1570. We can take care of all your Home Insurance and Auto Insurance needs.