How to Prepare Your Home and Vehicle for Winter
Ontario brings with it 4 beautiful seasons (maybe it depends who you ask)! But with the changing season we find one where the weather turns drastically; winter. The temperature drops, the leaves fall from the trees. The grass turns white with snow. And water becomes ice. With all these changes it is important to take care of ourselves, our properties and our vehicles. We have come up with a checklist and some tips to make sure Canada’s famous season does not get the best of you!
How to Prepare Your Vehicle
Install Your Winter Tires
Driving in Ontario can be treacherous at times, especially during the winter. Things can become even worse if you don’t install your winter tires. You don’t want to be that person who waits until it is too late, the first snowfall or freeze comes and you don’t have your winter tires on. It is dangerous for you and others on the road. And hey you now get a discount with all insurance companies to install them! For more safe driving tips in the winter head to our blog: Tips for Safe Winter Driving.
Get Your Car a Maintenance Check Up
This applies year round for vehicles, but making sure you get your vehicle looked at by a trained professional is important. The cold weather can impact the vehicles insurance functions including; battery power, exhaust system, heating and cooling, and your defrost. Make sure you have a good ice scraper in your vehicle and that you have checked your windshield wiper blades. There are specifically designed winter windshield wiper blades that can push heavy snow.
How to Prepare Your Home or Property
Check Outside Your Home
The first thing to do before the winter weather comes is check the exterior of your home and property. This can include things like putting away your patio furniture, checking your foundation and roof for any potential issues (it is a good idea to have a professional check this). And believe us when we say it is a lot easier to fix and address these issues before winter comes.
Check the Trees on your Property
If you have trees on your property especially near your home check them to make sure they are still healthy and there are no falling or damaged limbs. Once the ice comes these limbs can become very dangerous.
Put Away Lawn Care Equipment
Put away your lawn care equipment. If you have a mower, weed eater, or other tools or equipment you use it is a good idea to stow them away and if you can empty the gas as it can go bad if not in use. Wear and tear is not covered on a home insurance policy so not taking proper care of your tools and equipment is not something you can claim.
Clear Gutters and Downspouts
The last tip for the outside of your home is to check your drainage and clean your gutters and downspouts. Proper flow away from your foundation and home is important especially in the early part of winter and towards the end as large amounts of water can pool against your foundation. If that pooling water freezes against your foundation it can cause serious damage.
Check Inside Your Home
Once you’re done with the outside of your home you can begin preparing the inside of our home for winter. The first thing is to check your home’s heating system. No matter what heating your home uses it is important to have it inspected by a reputable source. Replacing the filter is something you should do every year 90 days if your home uses an HVAC system.
Prepare Your Heating System
If you have a fireplace or wood stove it is important to have them properly cleaned and inspected before you start using them. Having your chimney swept can also make sure your wood burning appliance is safe to use and will identify if there are any other issues or problems.
Ensure Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Monitors are Working
Winter is the time of year when most house fires occur in Ontario. Testing your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors is important for your safety. Check batteries and connections for all of the detectors.
Keep the Critters Out
With cold weather this can lead to animals doing their best to become a tenant insurance of yours. These critters can cause a lot of damage to your home if they get in places they aren’t supposed to be. If not notice any areas inside or outside your home that may be problematic, it is best to call a professional and get them sealed up.
Winter is Coming (or already here depending on when you read this)
Winter can come with a lot of complaints but it can also be a beautiful time of the year. If you use these tips for your vehicle and the inside and outside of your home it can help you make the most out of winter. As our CEO Ross McDougall warns: winter is coming!