February does not signify the end of winter. We're likely to experience our fair share of poor weather between now and spring.
Here in Saskatchewan, we're used to preparing for winter storms. However, every storm is different. You might find yourself perfectly ready for extreme cold, snow or wind. But, are you ready for ice?
Ice storms are some of the most dangerous forms of winter weather. It's important to prepare your home for its impact ahead of time.
The Risks of Ice
Ice poses structural safety risks to your home. And it can also threaten your safety, as well as that of your family. Ice's weight, slickness, and tendency to refreeze make it an ever-present hazard when it strikes. For example:
- Ice accumulation on roofs might increase the risk of roof collapse or damage. Buildup on power lines or shrubbery might cause these items to collapse and fall on your home. This could lead to other damage, including fire risks.
- Slick walkways, driveways and roads make it unsafe to venture far from your home. Simply stepping onto an icy footpath might cause you or a visitor to fall and get hurt.
- Exposed, frozen pipes might burst, causing a flood risk.
The good news is that homeowners insurance can come in handy should your home sustain ice damage. For example, property coverage might assist with associated home repairs. And liability insurance might help you compensate a visitor who fell on your icy sidewalk and sued you.
Preparing for Ice
Even if you have insurance, you should prepare ahead of time for ice storms. No one wants to deal with the hassle of seeing their home damaged by ice.
Clear away dead shrubbery and branches from near your home. Trim back trees when the weather is good, so that they do not hang over your home during bad weather.
If you know that power lines or other cables pose a threat to the home, talk to your service providers or local authorities about the issue.
Have your roof inspected each year. Make repairs as needed. Preventing roof damage should be one of your ongoing priorities.
Wrap exposed pipes or leave small streams of water in the pipes to help them keep from freezing.
Purchase ice melt to spread on your driveway and walkways around your home.
During ice accumulation, don't venture out until it is safe to do so. Keep a close eye on your home, and look for damage to develop at any time. And be sure to contact Heritage Insurance to decide on the next steps if damage does occur. We're here to help!