IBC Top 10: Maintenance tips for winterizing your home

​DECEMBER 14, 2015 (EDMONTON) – With winter weather fast approaching, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers western Canadians helpful maintenance tips to protect their homes over the winter season.

"Low temperatures, high winds, significant snowfall and freezing rain are examples of winter weather that can be damaging to houses, resulting in significant and costly repairs. By taking some simple steps, you can help protect your biggest investment – your home – and help keep your family safe over the winter months," said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC.

IBC's top 10 maintenance tips for winterizing your home are:

  1. Test and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Ensure your furnace, wood stove and any other heating sources are in good working condition.
    • Have all heating sources inspected, maintained and cleaned. During the heating season, clean or replace furnace air filters each month, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. If you go on vacation, even for a few days, leave the heat on and have someone you trust check on your home regularly while you are away. Make sure to check with your insurer how often your home needs to be checked under your policy while you are temporarily absent.
  4. Run water through all plumbing fixtures regularly, particularly during severe cold periods. 
  5. Test plumbing shut-off valves.
  6. Inspect your attic for frost accumulation, and check your eavestroughs and roof for potential ice dams or icicles.
  7. Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice.
  8. Keep snow away from gas meters, gas-appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  9. Trim branches that are close to your house or electrical wires.
  10. Prevent exposed pipes from freezing by fitting them with insulation sleeves or wrapping.

Winterizing Your Home 

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.