Protecting your home during the Winter
Winterizing Your Home
When the temperature falls and the leaves change colour, everyone in Canada feels a chill as they begin preparing for winter. Don’t let the cold weather get you down!
Whether you’re closing up the cottage, preparing your home for the colder weather, or planning a winter getaway, these tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) will help ensure you stay safe for the season.
Protecting your home this winter
Feeling secure against the elements is simple this season, if you follow a few straightforward suggestions.
Furnace and stove safety: Do your annual check on your furnace or wood stove to make sure they’re working without any issues. Where needed, have your heat-sources inspected and have filters replaced.
Check your pipes: Remember to check all your plumbing, and run water through all fixtures regularly to reduce the chances of freezing or bursting pipes when the weather turns cold. As well, test all plumbing shut-off valves to help prevent damage in the event of freezing, or weather-related damage to plumbing.
Preventative measures for your plumbing: Wherever necessary, wrap up exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping, to help protect them from frozen temperatures and decrease the chances of them freezing and bursting. As well, carefully check your attic and crawlspaces for frost accumulation or moisture build-up.
Insuring against Ice Dams: An ice dam is a build-up of ice on the eaves of sloped roofs of heated buildings, caused by melting snow reaching the eaves and freezing there. This freezing then impedes meltwater drainage, both adding to the dam, and causing meltwater to back-up. This can lead to water entering the house, damaged shingles and eavestroughs, and can add excess weight and stress to rooftops. While there are preventative measures you can take in an effort to stop ice dams from forming, keep in mind that TD Insurance also offers an optional coverage against damage from ice dams.
Clear the path: Ensure your sidewalks and stairs are free of ice and snow, to make it safer for family and friends that come to visit. Remember to also clear snow from basement windows, exhaust vents, vents for gas appliances and driers, to prevent water seepage and/or damage.
Remove branches: Around your home or cottage, trim down and clear away tree branches that may fall on electrical wires or phone lines in an ice storm or heavy snowfall. A small bit of forward thinking can prevent damage to power cables and electrical lines, and help prevent blackouts.
Heading down south?
If you travel to a warm destination this winter, there are things you can do to ensure you are protected and travel safely.
Ensuring safe travels: Medical costs in another country can add up very quickly. Travel insurance can help you offset these costs at a far more reasonable rate, and ensure you are taken care of should an accident happen on your travels.
The plan for you: It’s also important to speak to a TD Insurance Advisor to make sure you understand the extent of your coverage and the ways you are protected while you are away. For instance, you’ll want to make sure you are still covered if you have a pre-existing condition, that your medications will be covered, and that any emergency services (such as an ambulance) will be covered when traveling.
Provincial limits and extended travel: Many private insurers and provinces set limits for the coverage you can receive depending on how long you are out of the country. Learn these limits to avoid unexpected charges if you require medical attention while traveling. As well, make sure you are aware of provincial limits to medical costs and hospital treatment while you are away, and make sure you’ve added extended coverage through travel insurance.
Get coverage: While many people over the age of 65 worry they are not eligible for insurance coverage, it’s important to know that appropriate travel insurance does exist in the marketplace, and that TD Insurance has coverage available for customers, regardless of age.
Insurance Bureau of Canada. Winter Weather. Retrieved Oct 26, 2017 from http://www.ibc.ca/pe/disaster/winter-weather
Insurance Bureau of Canada. IBC Top 10: Maintenance tips for winterizing your home. Retrieved Oct 26, 2017 from http://www.ibc.ca/nl/resources/media-centre/media-releases/ibc-top-10-maintenance-tips-for-winterizing-your-home-2015