Five Springtime Home Safety Checks

By InsuranceHotline.com Team
A man replacing a broken board on his backyard deck.

Winter has begun to release its grip on the Great White North. Our thoughts are turning toward milder weather and that sprouting spring chore list. Springtime gives you a banner opportunity to examine your home and search for any damage that the ice and snow may have wreaked on your property, garage, or other external structures. Your inspection of the following five areas serves two purposes: it prevents any further deterioration and lessens the risk of an injury to you, your family, or guests.

Roofs

Roof damage is sometimes tough to spot. 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 or other materials. Check out your home’s primary protective layer from both outside and inside to spot vulnerable areas that might allow water to seep through.

Sidewalks

Temperature fluctuations, frost, and thawing 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 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.

Handrails and Porch Rails

Injuries to family or visitors at ground level are difficult enough to handle. But a tumble down 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 spills or accidents.

Driveways

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.

Siding and Eaves

Roofs are an obvious entry point for water but don’t overlook the integrity of wind-blown siding or eaves. While you can typically 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 may not cover.

How to Protect Your Home

Naturally, you want to keep your home in pristine condition, and by doing so, you’ll simultaneously minimize perils. Home insurance 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. So, along with assessing the health of your property, perform an insurance checkup as well.

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