Now that winter is in sight, Ontarians can expect the return of beloved winter activities, like ice-skating, tobogganing, and skiing, as well as the return of the icy, winter weather. If there’s anything that makes us appreciate the indoors, it’s our cold, Ontario winter!
Your windows work hard every day to keep your family safe, your belongings dry, and to supply you with beautiful views and that dose of Vitamin D (which is especially important in winter!). So, this season, Acumen’s team of experienced insurance brokers want to help you face winter with confidence. That’s why we’ve put together a winter checklist to help you protect your home from unexpected costs associated with sub-zero temperatures – and we’re starting with your windows.
Did you know that checking your windows regularly can help you mitigate seasonal damages and drafts associated with winter weather? Sealing your windows, taking steps to winterize your home, and connecting with an Acumen insurance broker can assist you in safeguarding your home, and your finances, against winter weather.
Let’s Start with Windows
We love windows! They let in beautiful, natural light and allow us to get a glimpse of the outdoors. But most of us don’t want an open window in winter—no matter how nice it looks outside! However, over time, cold temperatures, inclement weather, and age can weaken your window’s ability to protect your home. This means that thinning caulking, old windows, and even broken screens can let cold air and water into your home, which, if left untreated, is bad news for you and your utility bill!
Protect your home against unwanted leaks, drafts and damages this winter by showing your windows a little TLC, and by following these steps to help winterize your home:
- Test for Leaks
According to Family Handyman, homeowners can hire a professional to conduct an audit on their home, which can reveal air leaks around windows. If hiring a professional isn’t in your budget, you can also purchase a temperature sensor, or simply stand near your windows on a particularly windy day, to locate existing cold spots. Similarly, take a moment to look for any visible signs of water or condensation around your windows.
- Inspect Window Caulking
The caulking around your windows protects your home against air leaks and the costs associated with them! Before the weather gets particularly cold, we recommend you take the time to look around your windows to make sure that that caulking is in good shape. In addition to touching up caulking outside of your home, you can also seal the space between your window trim and the wall inside your home for extra protection against drafts.
- Add Insulation
Poor insulation will cause not only drafts but also leaks. When cold air meets the warm air from your home, it can cause water to condense and pool. To prevent condensation, one source recommends removing trim from the interior of your home and spraying low-expansion foam. Remember, you’ll want to make sure your rooms also have proper ventilation, since poor air flow can also cause damp to build up. Don’t forget to remove the loose-fitting insulation and replace with new spray-foam.
- Additional Window Solutions
In addition to caulking your windows and adding insulation, homeowners can invest in storm windows and interior window coverings to reduce energy bills and provide extra defense against drafts, water, and even heat loss.
- Replace Old Windows
Depending on how old your windows are, sometimes the best thing to do is to replace them. They may have protected you from drafts and rain but, eventually, no amount of insulation or caulking can make up for the fact that your windows need updating!
- Perform an Annual Inspection
This article from CBC describes that “doing an annual, pre-winter check up can do a lot for your home both in the short and long term.” Once you’ve come up with a plan for winterizing your windows, we recommend setting some time aside to inspect your pipes, doors, eavestroughs, roof, and even your driveway to prevent not only water from getting into your home, but also future damage from ice damming and water build up. While it may be time-consuming and frustrating to repair a missing shingle, or downspout, it will save you time and money come spring!
Finally, Check Your Insurance Policy!
For the ultimate peace of mind this winter, get in touch with an Acumen insurance broker to review your home insurance policy. Together, we can identify and select add-ons that will maximize coverage on your existing policy. Building a customized home insurance package with your existing broker gives you the ability to protect yourself from damages related specifically to winter, including water protection from flooding, burst pipes, and even sewage back up.
Whether you’re filing a claim or looking to improve your policy, you can count on Acumen insurance group to help you protect yourself against winter! Contact us today for a FREE one-on-one consultation, claims counselling, and expert advice.