Maintenance tips for winterizing your home

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers Canadians maintenance tips to protect their homes over the winter season.

"Winter weather can cause costly damage to your home. Low temperatures, high winds, significant snowfall and freezing rain are hard on houses. Following a few simple maintenance tips will help keep your home in tip-top shape," says Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President Ontario, IBC.

Maintenance tips to protect your home this winter

Inside the home

  • Clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on. Get someone to check on your home while you are away. Contact your insurance representative to determine the visitation requirements while you are away.
  • Test batteries in fire and smoke detectors and vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning.
  • If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, run water through it occasionally to keep water in the trap.
  • Make a note of where your water main is located in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • If away for extended periods consider fire and low temperature detection off site.
  • Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing.
  • Examine your attic for frost accumulation. Check your roof for ice dams or icicles. If you see excessive frost or staining in your attic or if there are ice dams on the roof surface, visit the CMHC website for advice. Damage from ice dams may not be covered under your home insurance policy.

Outside the home

  • Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Keep snow clear of gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • Drain your garden hose.
  • Water frozen in pipes can cause your pipes to break at their weakest point. To prevent freezing, fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping.
  • Trim tree branches that hang close to the house or electrical wires.

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information:

To schedule an interview, please contact:

Helen Lialias
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312


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