We’re certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to winter in Calgary, but here at Lane’s we’re trying to be optimistic. Spring must certainly be around the corner, and so before it has fully sprung is a great time to perform some preventative maintenance.
When it’s time to wake ourselves up from winter, it’s also a great time to take care of your home’s needs. The record-breaking amounts of snow and long periods of cold temperatures throughout Alberta means there is likely to have been a problem or two that has cropped up since we last saw warm weather.
To Do Immediately. Check for Ice Dams!
The majority of home insurance claims are caused by water damage, which is why all providers place strict provisions around coverage for water damage. It’s incumbent upon all property owners to do their best to protect themselves.
Right now in Calgary, ice dams are causing a real problem. These are common in Calgary during especially cold winters,
Ice dams occur because of poor ventilation, poor insulation, or a combination of both. If your roof is losing a lot of heat, the layer of snow closest to it will melt. That water will following the pitch of the roof, draining down slowly. And then freezing. Eventually, a large mound of ice will form.
If an ice dam gets bad enough, the melted water will have nowhere to go. It will then back up into the house, dripping down into the roof and eaves. This can completely wreck paint, ceilings, walls and beams. As soon as you safely can, have a walk around your home and perform a visual inspection, and have a yearly roof inspection performed.
It’s also possible that if your roof has any cracks or damage, water is likely to have seeped in and formed ice, which is likely to have worsened any initial problems. Our experienced insurance brokers at Lane’s will always recommend making sure your roof is always in good condition, as it provides a great deal of defense against water damage and unnecessary repairs.
Spring Home Maintenance Must Dos
There are likely to be a lot of issues to have developed over this particularly bad winter in Calgary. There has been particular strain put on all of our homes, so it’s important to address problems promptly before they become major, requiring costly repairs.
A spring home maintenance checklist can help get you started. We suggest breaking it all down into indoor and outdoor tasks, some of the most essential being:
- Inspect your gutters for clogged-up debris that could cause improper drainage.
- Check exterior walls for water stains and other signs of damage. These signs could mean a lot of different things, so if you spot any, talk to an expert.
- Thoroughly examine exterior walls for cracks. These should be immediately sealed by a professional.
- Ensure that the caulking and weather stripping around your windows remains in good shape.
- Check that all windows open and seal properly.
Inside, start with a thorough spring cleaning to remove all dust build-up. Make sure to move things around, too. This basically allows you to see everything better. If you notice evidence of mould or mildew, take immediate action to remove them as they can cause structural damage and present health risks if left unchecked.
- Look for evidence of water penetration, which will typically show up at the base of any cracks in the walls.
- Check all faucets and water fixtures for signs of leaks.
- Have your HVAC system inspected by a professional. They will change your air filters, clear out any debris and test the components of your system.
- Ensure all of your anti-flooding preventions are in place. Is your back-up valve in good condition? If you have a back-up generator, is it still working?
Remember, if you live near to an area prone to flooding common in this province, flood insurance is available in Alberta.
Home Insurance Renewal Options to Consider
Once you’ve completed your spring home maintenance, it’s a good idea to review your insurance coverage to ensure you have the right protections in place. This is especially important if your maintenance check uncovered new issues, or problems that were previously very minor but have since increased in severity.
Renewal time is when you’ll want to make any necessary changes to your home insurance coverage, and it’s essential that you have a good understanding of your different coverage options to make sure you choose the right type of policy. In basic terms, home insurance policies can be separated into two types:
- Named perils policies, which protect you against specific risks of your choice, such as fire, vandalism, weather damage and falling objects
- Comprehensive or all-risk policies, which protect you from all possible perils except for any you choose to exclude
Get Great Advice and Low Rates at Lane’s Insurance
If you need insurance advice, or if you’re thinking about changing insurance providers, the caring and knowledgeable brokers at Lane’s Insurance are a great resource. Lane’s Insurance is a full-service Alberta-based brokerage, offering competitive home insurance rates in Calgary. We offer excellent claims support and outstanding customer service. Visit Lane’s Insurance online today to get a fast, free home insurance quote.