A few months ago, you might have started “winterizing” your home. But what about “de-winterizing”? Warming temperatures can be both a source of relief and challenge for your household. Here’s some tips to help you get ready for the start of spring.
Water, water, everywhere
Spring flooding can be a major cause of damage to your home when winter ends. Here are some ways you can help minimize the negative impact of the spring thaw.
- Get rid of snow: Piles of snow and ice close to your home are a potential source of flooding. Clear away as much as possible; if you live in a ground-level home, that includes the yards and anywhere close to your exterior walls.
- Clean your gutters, downspouts: Even if you had already cleaned these sources of drainage in autumn, winter has likely brought a new helping of leaves, branches and dirt to block water from flowing away from your residence.
- Check your insurance: Does your home insurance cover flooding? The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that 45% of homeowners with a ground-level home think they have flood insurance, 29% do not and 26% don’t know. Moreover, only 37% are confident in their understanding of their insurance policy.1
“Hidden surprises” around the home
In addition to flooding dangers, the end of winter can create other household complications. Here are more things to watch out for.
- Clean up your yard: For ground-level homeowners, melting ice and snow can reveal some surprises that have built up on your property during the winter, such as garbage and animal waste. Make sure to check in less visible places, such as bushes or shrubs.
- Check the plumbing: There may be rooms or areas of your house that have been used infrequently during the winter. If these areas include plumbing, make sure you test all your toilets and faucets to make sure they are in working order.
- Think about a home inspection: It may be a good time to bring in a professional to identify potential problem areas. Home repair projects are usually easier to deal with during the warmer seasons, so assessing the needs of your property now can help you plan for the immediate and longer-term future.
Make your home spring-ready
Your lifestyle changes after winter, and there are some easy adjustments you can make around the home to make the most out of spring, summer and fall.
- Get rid of the clutter: People often instinctively nest and hoard in the winter, and that sometimes creates an inventory of paper (old bills, envelopes, publications), other recyclables (jars, bottles) and knick-knacks (children’s toys, ornaments) cluttered around in plain sight. Time to get active in trashing, recycling or properly storing all these excess items.
- Give to charity: While getting rid of your clutter, think about what you can actually donate to worthwhile causes. This may include older winter clothes you won’t be wearing again and unopened gifts you will never use.
- Re-arrange the furniture: You likely use your home differently in the warmer months. For example, you may more frequently utilize outdoor areas of your property (such as your back yard or patio). You can re-arrange furnishings to better allow for flow and movement to and from these outdoor spaces.
1. “Flood Factor: Insurance Bureau of Canada aims to help Canadian homeowners better understand the risk of flooding,” Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), May 3, 2018.