Don’t get left out in the cold this winter. Prevent any seasonal disasters and take the proper measures to winterize your home.
For most of us, winter has begun to settle in. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to ensure your peace of mind and protection from potentially costly and stressful disasters this season. There’s still time to winterize your home.
Snow and ice don’t have to spell disaster. But if you’ve ever had to deal with a winter-related disaster in or around your home, you know that if something is going to go wrong, chances are pretty good it’ll be in the dead of winter.
Get properly prepared, however, and you can welcome the return of Old Man Winter, rather than dread it. Wondering what are the most important steps you can take to ensure your safety and comfort, not to mention maximizing energy efficiency and savings? Here are a few essentials:
- Our most important resource in winter is the heating source of in our home. Whether you rely on a furnace, electric baseboards, a wood stove, or something else, make sure it’s in good working condition. Have them regularly inspected, maintained and cleaned – annually, if possible. You may need to clean or even replace furnace air filters more frequently during colder months.
- Regularly test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and keep them maintained. Replace, if necessary.
- Fill the gaps! Inspect your windows for any small cracks around the perimeter. Even the tiniest of spaces can allow cold air indoors. Caulk any openings or cracks around the exterior of your windows – it’s an easy, fast way to help ensure your warm air stays inside.
- Keep warm air indoors, where it belongs, and inspect your attic for signs of frost accumulation. Check that your attic is appropriately insulated. An easy way to boost your insulating power is to add batts of fibreglass insulation or mineral wool to your existing attic insulation; snug them tightly beside one another to help prevent any air gaps.
- Keep your plumbing free and clear – run water through taps and fixtures regularly.
- Test any plumbing and fixture shut-off valves.
- Check your roof and eavestroughs for any icicles or damming of ice.
- Test your outdoor plumbing and fixture shut-off valves.
- If you have exposed pipes, be sure to fit them with insulation sleeves or wrapping to prevent freezing.
- Keep your sidewalk, patio, and front steps clear of ice and snow – a quick sweep after a fresh snow goes a long way!
- Don’t allow snow to collect against or in front of gas appliance vents and meters, exhaust vents, or basement windows.
- Keep those branches that hang close to your home or electrical wires safely trimmed.
Are you planning to leave for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation? Leave your heat on and entrust a friend, neigbour, or dedicated service to keep an eye on your home while you are away.
Do you have further questions about how to protect your home throughout the year? Want to know more about your home insurance coverage? Talk to us!