HomeServe Offers Tips On Protecting Your Home During The Winter Months

Simple preparations for home emergencies can save money in the long-run

EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Now that winter cold, snow or ice is already affecting homeowners throughout Alberta, there are a few things that homeowners can still do to protect their home from some of winter's biggest threats. HomeServe, a leading provider of home emergency repair service plans, offers some tips:

Consider de-icing alternatives
Ice buildup on driveways, walkways and sidewalks is incredibly dangerous. However, use of chemicals in de-icing products can be hazardous to pets, plants and the environment. Homeowners should shovel snow on their property before it accumulates to minimize the need for de-icers and allow them to be most effective. When possible, consider using non-toxic products to de-ice these surfaces to reduce harm.

Curb unanticipated winter emergencies with extra protection
Water pipes that are not properly drained, or left unused during the winter, can freeze, expand and possibly burst. Even now with winter upon us, take proactive measures such as checking and insulating the cold water lines near exterior walls or in crawl spaces. Most home improvement stores sell insulations sleeves or wraps in a variety of materials and thicknesses. Also, make sure you know where your master water shut-off valve is located. If do you suffer a burst pipe you'll be happy you found it in advance! When water pipes rupture, homeowners often unexpectedly find they are responsible for repairs, as basic homeowners insurance or the water utility company generally does not cover water service line repairs on the homeowner's property. For just a few dollars a month, an Emergency Repair Service Plan will provide peace of mind in knowing that interior and exterior pipes are covered in case of an emergency.

Check the heating system
A strong, short-lasting smell is common when starting up the heating system for the first time in the season, but if that odd smell lasts or reoccurs, shut down the system immediately and call a professional. Throughout the winter, if you have a forced air system, change the furnace filters regularly – a dirty filter impedes airflow and reduces efficiency that will increase your heating bills.

Create a power-outage kit
Also; be prepared for winter power failures by pulling together an emergency kit complete with flashlights, batteries, and more.

HomeServe will be offering its Water Service Line and Exterior Sewer/Septic Line Insurance Plans to Albertans via a direct mail offer in the coming weeks. Homeowners throughout the Province should visit to learn more about available protection plans.

About HomeServe
HomeServe is an independent provider of Emergency Repair Service Plans. Since 2003, the company has protected homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home emergencies by providing affordable coverage and quality service. HomeServe serves over 1.2 million homeowners in the US and Canada and dedicates itself to being a customer-focused company providing best in class emergency repair plans through utility partners and directly to customers. For more information about HomeServe, please go to, follow us on and like us on Facebook at


For further information:

Beth Crisafi,, or Kyle Kuhnel,, or Melissa Rodriguez,, all of Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, +1-212-697-2600; or Myles Meehan, +1-203-356-4259,

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