Is your home winter-ready? This is Canada, we know what’s in store for the coming months. Time to think about protecting your home from any potential damage cold temperatures, ice and snow can cause. Avoid potential home insurance claims by reviewing the following ways to winterize your home.
7 Ways to Ensure Your Home is Winter Ready
- Clear your eaves. Eaves should be free of any debris such as leaves, dirt and sticks to prevent ice blockages which can cause snow and water run off and drain towards the foundation of your home. Water pooling in areas like that can freeze and cause expensive foundational problems. While you’re checking on those eaves, check that your downspouts extend away from your home by at least five feet to ensure water isn’t running towards your home.
- Inspect your roof.Check your roof for any missing, loose or damaged shingles. If you spot anything be sure to call a roofer to help with any repairs or maintenance, be sure you have them check the caulking around the chimney and air vents.
- Ice damming can be costly - prevent it by stopping heat migration into your attic. Heat can escape from your home through the roof, solutions for this include adding ceiling insulation and sealing air leaks. To do this locate places where air (heat) may be getting through, such as around the trap door to the attic and various elements that pass through insulated ceilings like plumbing and ventilation ducts, recessed lighting fixtures, and chimneys.
- Clean & inspect your furnace. It is a good plan to have your furnace inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. This ensures your furnace is in top shape for the cold season. Routine checks protect your furnace and keep it running properly and efficiently. You may want to consider replacing older thermostats with a programmable one to save money on heating costs. A furnace breakdown means a potential for freezing pipes.
- Locate leaks in windows and doors. To prevent heat loss, check that your windows and doors are properly sealed. Look at weather-stripping around windows and door frames, replace where necessary. This too could save you on heating costs.
- Outside faucets should be turned off and sprinkler systems blown out. Undrained water can freeze, which can cause pipes to burst. Disconnecting garden hoses and draining any remaining water is recommended.
- Know where your main water shut off valve is. If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, be sure to turn the heat up, temperatures can vary from -15 Celsius one day to -30 Celsius the next, any added heat can help prevent pipes from bursting.
Check with your insurance company on what exactly is required for your policy when you are away from home. You should have someone checking your home on a regular basis, otherwise your insurance may be void should pipes freeze or other winter weather related issues occur.
Taking time to winter-proof your home will help prevent damages.