Early spring in Southern Ontario has begun with some spectacularly warm and sunny days. The melt of snow and ice seemed to come and go without much concern. But as we all know, Canadian "spring” weather is unpredictable: It can quickly turn around and return with a wintery vengeance. It’s not uncommon to see a snowfall or freezing rain hit Waterloo Region in April.
In case the winter weather returns, don’t get caught off guard with post-winter woes around your property with the following advice.
Keep Your Drainage Clear
Proper drainage is extremely important (especially for buildings with window wells below ground). Ensure your eavestroughs are kept clear and are draining far enough away so that water does not flow back into the building. It’s generally a good idea to how the water drain as far away as possible. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to any grading of the surrounding land – the grading should always slope away from the building!
Clear Away the Snow
We all know the importance of keeping walkways clear of ice and snow, but what about your roof? Wet snow is more than 3x heavier than dry powder snow – so accumulation can cause problems for your roof down the line. Also, check for ice damming (can be identified by hanging icicles). As with our previous note, clearing drainages is very important.
Basements have a higher potential for flooding. To help avoid flooding from occurring, sump pumps should be installed (best to be installed at the lowest part of your building). Sump pumps should be checked regularly to ensure they’re working properly. Also, consider having a generator or battery backup in place in case of power failure.
Wind & Hail
A visual inspection after a wind or hail storm can help identify problems before they start. Look for any missing shingles, loose or missing siding, as well as any damaged caulking around windows and doors. Also, check the areas where utilities enter the home (like hydro, internet/TV, etc.). Those areas may have small gaps – so it’s important to keep the snow away from those areas or perhaps even seal them up.
BONUS: Call the Pros!
When you think of calling someone in, the dollar signs start to flash. But this is one area you don’t want to skimp on. Have a plumber inspect and maintain your drains, sump pumps and backflow prevention devices. If you don’t have a sump pump and pit along with backflow devices, strong consideration should be given to having these devices installed as soon as possible.
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Staebler Insurance is a general insurance broker specializing in auto insurance, home insurance, small business and commercial insurance. Staebler brokers proudly serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Wellington County, Listowel, Fergus, Elora, and southern Ontario.