As winter begins to release its grip on the Great White North, your thoughts turn toward milder weather and a number of fresh-air activities that accompany the summer season. Before barbecues and outdoor parties kick into full gear, springtime gives you a banner opportunity to examine your home and search for any havoc that the ice and snow may have wreaked on your home, garage or other external structures. Your inspection of the following five areas serves two purposes: it prevents any further damage to decks, porches or roofs, and also lessens the risk of an injury to you, your family or guests.
Roof damage is sometimes tough to spot, so if you're unable to isolate any abnormalities from the ground, hire a licensed professional to assess the condition of underlayments and shingles, tiles, metal panels, etc. Check out your home's primary protective layer from both outside and inside to spot vulnerable areas that might allow water to unleash its wrath.
Temperature fluctuations, frost and thaw can cause sidewalks to upheave and crack — and that spells danger for visitors and delivery persons who could suffer serious injury from a stumble over uneven surfaces. If immediate repairs can't be made, you should use some type of marking system to call attention to damaged walkways, and ensure that adequate lighting exists to pinpoint compromised areas at night.
Handrails and Porch Rails
Injuries to family or visitors at ground level are difficult enough to deal with but a tumble down steps or off a porch, balcony or deck could result in a serious mishap, involving more dire circumstances than a sprain or broken bone. Thoroughly test the strength and rigidity of porch rails and handrail along stairways to prevent the possibility of an unwanted spill or a bigger incident.
The same forces that mess with your walking paths also test the structural soundness of your driveways, be they composed of asphalt, concrete, pavers or gravel. Along with the potential hazard to guests and your own crew, weather-beaten driveways can present chuckholes that can bend wheel rims, flatten tires or shred bumper covers and undercarriages.
Siding and Eaves
Roofs are the obvious entry point for water, but don't overlook the integrity of wind-blown siding or eaves. While interior leaks can usually be detected from some vantage point, water can seep into sheathing and interior wall space through exterior vinyl, wood or aluminum coverings. Undetected water in these spaces can spawn mold and prolonged rot from water may not be covered by insurance.
Naturally, you want to keep your home in pristine condition and by doing so, you'll simultaneously minimize perils. Homeowners insurance exists to protect you from the unexpected, but in some cases, neglecting to maintain exterior structures, entryways and exits can lead to personal injury payouts sailing way beyond liability limits set forth in the policy. You can likely tolerate wind, hail or water damage to the physical premises but injuries that threaten life or limb could have devastating financial consequences. So along with assessing the health of your property, perform an insurance checkup as well.
Insurance Hotline lets you obtain homeowners quotes from many major carriers in Canada.