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After a tough winter, spring is a welcome change. But, with the warmer weather comes new challenges.

Spring cleaning

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Spring cleaning is an ideal time to prepare or update your home inventory. Having an updated home inventory will help you in the event of a claim. Consider these tips when completing your list:

  • Take photographs or video of all of your valuable possessions

  • Keep the bills, receipts, warranties and/or instruction manuals for your more valuable possessions and store them in a safe place. These can serve as proof of ownership and help in determining replacement cost.

  • Review your insurance policy. If you have updated your home with any renovations or additions, let your insurer know. It may affect the coverage you need and it’s in your best interest – especially in the event of a loss

Spring thaw and water damage

All that snow has to go somewhere. With warmer weather, comes the potential for flooding after the thaw. Here are some proactive ways to help protect your property from water damage.

  • Clear snow away from your house, especially basement windows and doorways

  • Check your property for any obstructions that may prevent melting snow from draining, including street grates.

If you live in an area prone to flooding or sewer backups, it’s important to take precautions.

  • Do not store valuable in your basement

  • Clear eavestroughs and downspouts so that water is directed away from your home

  • Ensure there is proper grading around your home

  • Consider installing a sump pump with back-up battery power

  • Install or maintain a backflow valve that helps prevent sewage in an overloaded main sewer line from backing up into your basement. Check with your municipality before installing a backflow valve

Sewer backup and overland flood coverage are not automatically included in all home insurance policies but may be offered as optional coverages you can purchase. Speak to your insurance representative if you have questions about your policy.

Car maintenance

With warmer temperatures, you’ll notice more vehicles, bikes and pedestrians on the roads. Make sure you maintain your vehicle so you can keep your attention where it belongs – on the drive.

  • Schedule a vehicle maintenance check to ensure tires, wipers and brakes are functioning properly

  • Check tire pressures each month and don't forget the spare.

  • Top up on windshield wiper fluid and ensure the fluid nozzles and the wiper blades are in good working order

  • If safe to do so, do your best to avoid potholes. They can damage tires and wheels and potentially cause you to lost control. If you do need to pull over, be careful on gravel shoulders – they can be softer than usual after the thaw

  • Carry an emergency kit in the car at all times