Winter preparations for your car and home

Winter is just around the corner and Canadians definitely know what that means: dealing with all that snow, sleet, ice and wind. Both your car and home are susceptible to the weather conditions, so you better be prepared when winter comes.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, here are some helpful ways to prepare your vehicle for winter and minimize the damage during the colder months.

Here is what you need to keep in mind when it comes to your car: 

  • Drive accordingly to weather conditions and check for regular warnings from Environment Canada.
  • Tune up your car – check the battery, belts, hoses, radiator, coolant/antifreeze, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater, defroster, ignition system and tires before winter starts.
  • Check your wipers regularly and keep an extra jug of windshield wash fluid in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your cell phone is always charged.
  • Inspect your tires and check the pressure at least once a month over the winter.
  • Winter Tires – install four that can stop 40% sooner than all season tires and improve your vehicle’s handling in winter weather. 
  • Carry an emergency kit with antifreeze, a flashlight, batteries, a blanket, a candle, matches, hazard markers, a snow shovel, an ice scraper/brush, the number of a tow truck company, sand, booster cables and food in case your vehicle breaks down.
  • Keep your gas tank more than half full over the winter.
  • Tell someone where you’re going  and when you expect to arrive.
  • Bring a map or GPS with you in case you need to take a different route.

Here is what you need to keep in mind when it comes to your home:

  • Test and maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Ensure your furnace, wood stove and any other heating sources are in good working condition. Have them inspected, maintained and cleaned before winter starts and clean them and replace filters each month during the winter.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on and have someone check on your home while you’re away.
  • Run water through your plumbing fixtures regularly.
  • Test your plumbing shutoff valves.
  • Inspect your attic for frost accumulation and check your roof and eavestroughs for potential ice dams and icicles.
  • Keep your sidewalk and front stairs clear of snow and ice.
  • Keep snow away from gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • Trim branches that are close to your house and electrical wires.
  • Prevent freezing of pipes by fitting exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping.

For more information on how to properly prepare your home for winter, please feel free to contact Pacific Insurance at 416-494-1268 to speak to one of our seasoned insurance professionals.