WINTERIZING YOUR HOME
AS THE WARM WEATHER COMES TO AN END, IT'S TIME TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR THE WINTER MONTHS AHEAD. PERFORMING A FEW QUICK AND EASY MAINTENANCE ITEMS NOW, COULD SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY DOWN THE ROAD.
THE FOLLOWING PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CHECK WILL HELP ENSURE A PROPERLY WINTERIZED HOME:
- Make sure the furnace filter is clean and sized properly.Check the thermostat to be sure it is working and that the pilot light is functioning. Have a qualified specialist clean and check your furnace, replacing and cleaning the necessary parts. Vacuum hot and cold air registers if necessary.
- Check your chimney. If you haven't used your fireplace in a while, check for animals, debris and leaves. Consider having a qualified professional install a screen over your chimney opening.
- Clean your eaves trough and downspouts. When they are clogged, rainwater backs up. When the temperature drops below freezing, the standing water freezes causing the eaves trough and downspouts to expand and crack. Remove any leaves, dirt and debris.
- Check for broken, damaged or loose shingles, small holes, and loose nails. Check flashing around all dormers, vent pipes, chimneys and any other projections where the roof covering meets an adjoining surface.
- Make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Check the batteries regularly. Remember to change the batteries whenever you change your clocks.
- Check weather stripping around windows, doors and between the foundation and siding. Replace where needed. If the caulk is cracked or peeling away, it allows your home's heat to escape.
- Clean and repair cracks, fissures and joints in concrete surfaces. Repairing sidewalks and driveways helps with snow removal.
If you don't have the time or the expertise for your winter home maintenance, contact a qualified professional.
WHEN DO I INSURE MY NEW HOME?
ARE YOU PLANNING TO BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME SOON, OR THINKING ABOUT ADDING AN ADDITION TO YOUR PRESENT HOME?
For your protection, you must advise us about your plans before you start construction.
You will be required to insure for the full replacement value of the project. This may take the form of an endorsement or “course of construction” extension to your current policy, or may require an entirely new policy.
If you are going to act as your own general contractor, you may be charged a higher premium for the increased exposure. You will also be asked to obtain proof of insurance from any subcontractors performing work for you. Some insurers may request a higher deductible during the construction phase.
These can be exciting and hectic times. If you have any questions, please call us. We’re here to help.
DID YOU KNOW YOU MUST HAVE A WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR ON EVERY LEVEL IN YOUR HOME AND OUTSIDE OF SLEEPING AREAS? IT IS MANDATORY UNDER THE ONTARIO FIRE PREVENTION CODE TO HAVE A SMOKE DETECTOR INSTALLED ON EVERY FLOOR. TENANTS AND HOMEOWNERS WHO FAIL TO HAVE A WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR ON EVERY LEVEL IN THE HOUSE COULD FACE FINES UP TO $235.
Since electric smoke detectors will not work if there is a power outage, anyone with smoke detects that plus-in or are wired to the home's electrical system are reminded they also need a battery back-up model.
Check your smoke detectors regularly. They can save lives only if they are working properly.