Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Looking out the window, it seems winter has officially arrived here in the Barrie region and even while we were faced with some significant weather conditions last month, January will only bring colder temperatures and more snow. With the serious ice storm that recently swept through the greater Toronto area, it’s now pretty clear to residents that snow and ice alone, can have a devastating effect on your home and vehicle, especially if you are not properly prepared.

As many Toronto residents unfortunately discovered, a winter storm can be severe enough to destroy your roof and gutters, additionally freezing your pipes causing them to burst. According to Insurance Bureau of Canada, the last few years have been particularly bad for winter weather damage, particularly insurance claims caused by water damage.

So what can you do winterize your home and prepare for these possibilities? Here are some handy tips to keep in mind:

  • Throughout the winter months, always keep salt on hand for driveways and walkways
  • Drain all your outside plumbing lines, water lines to your pool, and underground sprinkler lines to prevent your pipes from bursting. For pipes that are exposed, you should ensure pipes are thoroughly insulated with wrapping or sleeves
  • To maintain the condition of windows, roof openings and skylights, be sure each is equipped with the necessary weather stripping; this will deter water from snowmelt from seeping in.
  • Remember to attend to your chimney. A wood-burning chimney needs to be checked for safety reasons prior to using each year.
  • If you are required to go out in the storm, be mindful and on the lookout for downed power lines. It’s also recommended that if you do notice any, to please report it to your power company so it can be attended to right away.

Generally speaking, most home standard policies cover damages caused from winter conditions; however, it’s wise to speak to an insurance broker directly to confirm exactly what damages are in fact covered. If you are a Barrie or Orillia resident seeking more information pertaining to your current home insurance policy, or if you have general questions regarding winter damage, please contact Will Marshall Insurance at 705-726-2551

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