Spring home safety check
Winter has released its grip on Southwestern Ontario (well, yesterday’s snow was a fluke), and everyone’s thoughts are turning toward mild weather and the annual spring chore list.
Now is the time to examine your home and identify any damage the ice and snow may have caused to your property over the winter. Your inspection of the following areas serves two purposes: preventing further damage and lessening the risk of injury for you, your family, and guests.
Frost, temperature fluctuations and the numerous freeze/thaw cycles we experience in our region over the course of a normal winter can cause sidewalks to heave and crack – a potentially dangerous situation for visitors who could suffer serious injury from a stumble over uneven surfaces. If you can’t make immediate repairs, use a marking system to call attention to damaged walkways and ensure that adequate lighting exists to pinpoint compromised areas at night.
Winter damage or simple wear and tear to your roof can be hard to spot from the ground, but taking the time to check for damage is one spring routine that can help you avoid a home claim. If you don’t see anything from the ground, consider hiring a licensed professional to check the condition of underlayment and shingles, tiles, metal panels, or other materials. The roof is your home’s primary protective layer so you want to make sure nothing happened over the winter that might allow water to seep through.
Handrails and porch rails
Injuries to family or visitors at ground level are difficult enough to handle. But a tumble down the steps, off a porch, balcony, or deck could result in a severe mishap. You could be liable for more dire circumstances than a sprain or broken bone. Thoroughly test the strength and rigidity of porch rails and handrails along stairways to prevent unwanted accidents.
The Canadian weather tests not only the structural soundness of your walking paths but also your driveways and the asphalt, concrete, or gravel that comprises them. Along with the potential hazard to guests, weather-beaten driveways can lead to potholes that can bend wheel rims, flatten tires, or shred bumper covers and undercarriages. If your driveway is in bad shape, it may be time to pave over uneven surfaces once the snow is gone for good.
Siding and eaves
While your roof is an obvious entry point for water, it’s not the only one. Don’t ignore the integrity of wind-blown siding or eaves. While you can usually detect interior leaks from some vantage point, water can seep into sheathing and wall space through exterior vinyl, wood, or aluminum coverings. Undetected water in these spaces can spawn mould and cause rot, which your insurance policy may not cover if the damage was preventable.
How to protect your home with insurance
Naturally, you want to keep your home in good condition, and by doing so, you’ll also minimize perils. Your home insurance policy exists to protect you from the unexpected, but in some cases, neglecting to maintain exterior structures, entryways, and paths can lead to insurance claims larger than the limits outlined in your policy, or even claims that might be denied due to lack of upkeep. So, along with assessing the health of your property, performing an insurance checkup is always a good idea.
The brokers and CSRs at DPM Insurance Group are here to help. Contact the office closest to you for a free, no obligation review of your current policy. https://dpmins.com/locations/