Winter is quickly approaching, which means that you and your family are starting to bundle up and prepare for the colder months of the year. Although most people see winter as a chance to wear their favourite sweaters and enjoy warm, comforting meals, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The winter months pose a significant risk to property owners; sudden snowstorms and blizzards can severely damage your property, leading to thousands of dollars worth of repairs. And if your home insurance doesn’t cover the damage, you have no other choice but to cover the cost of the repairs by yourself.
Do you want to keep your home and family safe this winter? Be sure to use our winter home maintenance checklist.
Continue reading to get started!
The top winter home maintenance checklist for homeowners in Canada
Keeping your property and family safe during the winter is easy if you have a solid strategy.
If this is your first time maintaining your home over winter, or you don’t have time to put a list together by yourself, feel free to give our winter house maintenance checklist a try.
#1 — Get your roof inspected by a professional roofing company
Even though they’re an essential part of any home, many homeowners tend to overlook the importance of keeping their roofs in good condition. Your roof doesn’t just help keep your home warm during the winter; it also protects you from snow, hail and any other harsh weather conditions that Mother Nature throws your way.
If your roof is old, there’s a good chance that it’s been damaged by harsh weather, animals or falling objects. If your roof has been damaged, you may experience unexpected issues ranging from drafts to leaks.
Before the winter weather officially rolls in, you should reach out to a local roofing company to inquire about their winter maintenance services.
Professional roofing companies can send out a trained inspector who can spot potential issues with your roof. If the inspector notices any signs of damage, they can help you figure out the best way to deal with the problem. Also while you are looking at your roof, check your attic to make sure the space is adequately insulated and ventilated. Ice dams are usually an ice build-up on the roof typically caused by poor insulation and ventilation.
Bonus tip — Did you know that roof age can affect your home insurance rate? It’s true! Click here to learn more.
#2 — Clear the debris from your gutters and around your home
Do you live near a forest, park, or walking trail? Are there several large trees near your home? If so, then cleaning your gutters should be at the top of your winter home maintenance checklist.
During the autumn, debris like leaves, branches, acorns, bird nests, etc., can fall out of nearby trees and land in your gutters.
If there’s too much debris in your gutters, they can get clogged. This can cause the gutters to overflow on warm days or in the late winter when the snow begins to melt.
Overflowing gutters can lead to a variety of issues; for example, if too much debris/water accumulates in the gutter, it can weigh the system down, causing it to bend or break. Dirty gutters can also increase the risk and size of icicle formations in the winter, which can pose a significant threat to your property and your family.
This is also a good time to check out the trees around your home, are there weak limbs or broken trees, cutting them down now or calling the city or an arborist is a good call. Winter snow is heavy and can add weight that can break the brand and fall on your home.
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why homeowners should add this task to their winter home maintenance to-do list.
#3 – Turn off exterior faucets and clear the water lines
As you likely know, freezing temperatures can cause the water in your pipes to freeze, which can potentially lead to cracks and leakage.
But, unlike the pipes found inside of your home (which are protected by walls, insulation, etc.) the water lines outside of your home have little to no protection from freezing temperatures.
If you leave stagnant water inside of the water lines, the water will freeze when the temperature dips below zero degrees, which can compromise (or potentially break) your pipes.
Thankfully, this issue is easy to avoid by making use of these winter home maintenance tips. All you need to do is shut off the exterior water valves and drain the water out of the exterior faucets around your property.
#4 — Clean your chimney
It’s hard to imagine something cozier than sitting by a crackling fireplace on a cold winter evening.
That being said, if you want to enjoy your fireplace without potentially starting a fire, you should make sure that your chimney is clean and ready for the upcoming season. Over time, soot and debris can build up on the sides of the chimney. If the debris isn’t removed, it can potentially catch fire and damage your chimney (or in severe cases, other aspects of your home).
So, if you’re putting together a checklist for house maintenance before winter, we highly suggest making sure that your chimney is clean and clear.
#5 — Have your furnace serviced
It’s never a bad time to have a look at some of the big operating systems in your home like your AC/Furnace, and with the cold weather coming making sure the heat works when you go to turn it on is a great place to start. Some companies actually offer a spring and fall tune-up service to make sure the filters are clean and all the systems are working well and efficiently.
#6 — Unfinished Basement, Exposed Pipes?
It’s not something you may think of, but if you have an unfished basement there are a few things to think about when the cold weather arrives. Without the proper insulation, the exposed pipes in your basement could freeze. Double-check your basement, look for leaks, and areas where air is coming in like around windows or pipes that lead outside. You can DIY with some spray foam or added insulation. Or call a local carpenter to help you out, these can help keep your basement free of leaks, as well as save you some money with heating your home!
#7 — Compare home insurance quotes with an online insurance brokerage
It’s never a bad time to shop around for home insurance quotes (especially if you use our tips to save on insurance in Canada). However, many homeowners choose not to shop around for quotes until it’s time to renew their home insurance policies. This is often due to the fact that shopping for home insurance quotes can be time-consuming, and in some cases, even confusing.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to compare home insurance quotes without spending your day on the phone with various insurance companies; teaming up with an online insurance brokerage.
When you team up with an online insurance brokerage, like Surex, you get access to the most competitive home insurance quotes from the best home insurance companies Canada has to offer.
Bundle multiple policies with a Surex insurance provider and save up to 25% on your premium
If you’re trying to save on home insurance in Canada, the first thing you should do is contact your personal Surex insurance advisor. Our incredible team of insurance advisors works with the best home insurance companies in Canada, allowing them to provide you with several quotes at once!
Instead of spending your day chatting with insurance agents over the phone, you can save time and money on insurance with Surex! After a quick chat, your personal insurance advisor can provide you with quotes in as little as ten minutes.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you save as much as 25% on the best home insurance in Canada.