6 Ways to Prevent Losses in Your Home This Winter

For many Canadians, winter is our favourite time of year. From the holiday season to hockey, sledding, and winter sports, cold weather creates an opportunity for lots of fun activities. Unfortunately, winter fun can quickly come to an end for homeowners who haven’t properly prepared for the season’s weather.

In this blog, we’ll show you five ways you can prep your home for the winter, so you can enjoy the snow without having to worry about inconvenient damage or costly repairs.

1. Clean Up Your Gutters

If there’s one thing winter brings more of than any other season, it’s precipitation. From snow to freezing rain, hail, and more, the first step to having a winter-proof home is ensuring that your home’s external drainage can stand up to the challenging weather that lies ahead.

If you live in a house with a slanted roof, make sure that your gutters are clear of any leaves, nests, or other debris that may prevent adequate drainage during heavy snow or rainfall. If your gutters aren’t clean for the winter, you might experience drainage problems that can cause severe flooding to your home’s interior. 

If your building has a flat roof, mismanaging accumulated snow can put it at risk of leaks or even collapse. If your roof has a snow-melting system, ensure that it is well-maintained for the upcoming winter. You should also take this opportunity to ensure that the roof’s drainage system is fully functional so that water can escape properly rather than pooling and causing additional problems.

2. Prevent Flooding from Burst Pipes

For many Canadians, the holiday season is the perfect time to escape with their families on a vacation to warmer climates. If you plan to spend your winter on a beach, make sure that you take the necessary precautions to secure your home before leaving. 

When spending the winter at home, burst pipes are rarely a concern for most Canadian homeowners – when you’re home and using water, the regular flow of H2O through the pipes prevents the water from standing still for long enough to freeze. However, being away on vacation for over a week can cause ice to form in your pipes and expand until it causes them to burst. Once that happens, your home will be constantly flooding until you get back home to discover the (likely very significant and costly) damage.

If you plan on leaving for vacation this winter, take some time to shut off your home’s water main and drain any pipes that may be prone to freezing. Making the effort to perform this preventive maintenance might just save you from a ruined winter, a damaged home, and thousands of dollars in damage.

3. Catch Leaks Before they Spread

Despite your best efforts, your home still sprung a leak. While this certainly isn’t a situation that any homeowner wants to encounter, there are still things you can do to minimize the damage caused by a possible leak. 

By placing water leak detectors around your home in places that are likely to leak (laundry machines, dishwashers, sinks, water tanks, heaters, etc.), you can catch small leaks and stop them before they grow and spread, causing more headaches and damage.

4. Examine Your Roof

Having a roof over your head is crucial to staying safe and comfortable this winter, so it’s a good idea to ensure that the roof in question is as sturdy as possible. An improperly maintained roof can leak and get damaged easily by the harsh winter weather, turning your holiday festivities into a cold, stressful nightmare.

When getting your roof ready for the winter, there are two main things you should keep in mind:

a) Waterproofing

A good roof is a waterproof one, so your priority should be inspecting your roof for any areas that may leak after some precipitation. When checking your roof, it’s crucial to keep in mind how the temperature can impact its waterproofing capabilities – damage that may be insignificant during the summer can freeze, expand, and start leaking during the winter. 

If your roof has shingles, make sure you check for any loose or damaged ones that might be torn off during a storm and expose your home to further damage later in the season.

b) Structural Integrity

If you’ve ever shoveled your driveway after a particularly heavy snowfall, you know just how heavy snow can become when it’s wet. After a big snowstorm, the snow accumulating on your roof might weigh hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Preparing your home for the winter means ensuring that your roof has the structural integrity to withstand this pressure until the weather warms up or you have a chance to clear/melt it.

5. Trim Potentially Dangerous Trees and Bushes

Winter storms are bad enough when they’re just happening outside your house. But if you don’t manage your trees and shrubbery appropriately, you might find the storm making an uninvited entrance into your cozy living room. 

Trees or large bushes can break easily when subjected to freezing temperatures, snow, and high winds. It only takes a relatively small branch to crash through one of your windows, letting in the snow and cold and eliminating your ability to control the temperature of your home. Not to mention, it’s unlikely that repair contractors will be able to fix the damage quickly if the local area is covered with heavy snowfall and damage after a storm.

The best way to prevent a disaster like this from happening to your home this winter is by trimming trees and bushes that might be prone to breaking during a storm. Pay extra special attention to trees that are growing close to windows or fragile glass doors that could get damaged easily.

6. Get Extra Help to Keep Your Home Safe

A small bit of proper planning and preventive maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in damage this coming winter. Unfortunately, some accidents are nearly impossible to predict or prevent. That’s where we come in.

Park Georgia Insurance has over three decades of experience in providing Canadian homeowners with professional, comprehensive, and affordable insurance services. If you want to enjoy the winter fun without sacrificing your peace of mind, our team of professional insurance experts is here to help you choose the ideal policy for you and your home.

Click here to get started with a quote today.

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