Winter weather is the cause of no small number of home insurance claims. Here are the most common damages that occur during winter and some tips for avoiding them.
Water pipes in unheated areas such as basements or crawlspaces are prone to freeze in winter, which can result in a burst pipe when the ice expands.
If you have piping in an area of your home where the temperature dips below zero, ensure that it’s adequately insulated. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fibreglass sleeves or wrapped in heating tape.
It’s important for homeowners to understand that, under most insurance policies, if they leave their home unattended for a stretch of days (generally three or four) and a pipe bursts, the damage won’t be covered. To keep your coverage in effect, you have to have someone come check in on your home regularly while you’re away. Talk with your insurance broker for precise details about your responsibilities in these circumstances.
An accumulation of snowfall on your roof can cause leaks, damaging not only your roof but also your walls and furniture. Roofs made of older materials or that drain poorly are particularly prone to leaking. Ice damming is usually the source of the problem. This occurs when ice builds up at the gutters or roof edges and prevents melted snow from draining off the roof. When water pools on the roof due to the ice dam, it can begin to leak into the home.
There are a couple ways you can prevent ice damming. One method is to use a device called an extension roof rake, which safely removes snow from the roof without damaging shingles. Another potential solution is adjusting the slope of gutters and downspouts and keeping them clear of leaves in order to improve drainage. Finally, hiring a professional to clear your roof after a heavy snowfall is a good idea.
Slips and falls
If you fail to do your due diligence by keeping your property safe for pedestrians during winter, you could be faced with a liability claim. Most slip and fall accidents in winter are caused by icy walkways, so be sure to stay on top of shovelling your property and treating icy surfaces with salt or sand. In addition, be sure that you have ample outdoor lighting so that visitors can safely find their way in the dark.
Property and home insurance in Edmonton and Calgary
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