Feb 23, 2021 10 ways winter weather can damage your home

Winter weather in Canada can be unpredictable to say the least. In some areas, it’s not unusual to see extreme cold, freezing rain, snow squalls, windstorms, and a sunny day above zero degrees all in the same week. Unfortunately, drastic changes in weather and temperature can damage your home, so it’s important to take some precautionary measures to protect it. Here are 10 common issues to watch out for this winter, plus tips to avoid damage to your home: Roof leaks. During the winter, poor insulation and ventilation in your roof can allow warm air to rise from the heated areas of your home and melt any snow that has built up on your roof. The melted snow can then drip down to the colder edge…

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Jan 8, 2021 How does building a skating rink in your backyard affect your home insurance?

The backyard skating rink is a beloved tradition for families across the country. It calls to mind memories of lacing up skates on chilly winter nights, shooting the puck around with friends, then sipping hot cocoa and snuggling up by a crackling fire. If you’re tempted to bring back your childhood in the form of a DIY ice rink, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered under your home insurance policy and take the right measures to protect yourself in case anything goes wrong. Building a skating rink in your yard is a liability risk Like a swimming pool, a skating rink increases the chances of someone getting injured on your property or causing damage to a neighbour’s property. What if someone…

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Dec 17, 2020 Before, during, and after an ice storm

If you live Canada (and especially if you live in Ontario, Quebec, or the Atlantic provinces), you’ve probably witnessed a few major ice storms in your lifetime. Ice storms are caused by freezing rain, which occurs when raindrops fall from a warm layer of air into air that is below freezing and become supercooled. When the supercooled drops hit a surface that’s below 0º, they freeze instantly and form a layer of ice. But while those glistening, ice-coated trees might look beautiful from the comfort of your heated home, ice storms can lead to widespread power outages and cause serious damage to homes, trees, and power lines. Keep these tips in mind before, during, and after an ice…

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Nov 18, 2020 5 tips for safe winter grilling

What many typically think of as “grilling season” has officially come to an end — but did you know you can cook outside all year long when you take some precautions and properly prepare your space? Here are some tips to keep you safe if you are considering barbecuing into the cold winter months: Give your grill a good cleaning. If you’re planning on using your barbecue in the winter, you’ll want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape after a long summer of grilling. Following the instructions in the owner’s manual, clean each part of your barbecue to get rid of food remnants, bacteria, and built-up carbon deposits that could cause your grill to heat unevenly, not reach its full operating temperature, or even stop…

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Nov 13, 2020 When is the best time to turn my furnace on?

Stretches of extreme heat, periods of unexpected cold, heavy rains followed by seasonably moderate temperatures. When it comes to autumn weather, it would appear as if Mother Nature is in a state of perpetual indecision sometimes. The decision to switch from air-conditioning to furnace overnight is often a reality for Canadians experiencing weather extremes across the country; especially here in Ottawa. The question is and will always remain, is there an ideal time or temperature that should motivate you to turn on your furnace?  Inside temperature is more important than outside temperature “The decision to switch on your furnace has more to do with the temperature inside your home than what’s going on outside,” said Tracy Burgess, Service Manager of Carleton Refrigeration,…

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Nov 2, 2020 A step-by-step guide to closing your cottage for the winter

Summer days have come and gone, and if you haven’t taken measures to winterize your cottage, it’s almost time to close it up and say goodbye until next spring. Check these 10 tasks off your list as you prepare to leave your home-away-from-home for the winter months: Inspect your septic tank. If your cottage has a septic system, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s service recommendations and timelines. If your system is due for an inspection, call in a professional to make sure it’s functioning properly before you close up to avoid any surprises in the spring. Keep the sump pump pumping. If your cottage has a sump pump, make sure it stays in good working order all winter long, or…

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Feb 6, 2019 How to Keep That Dammed Ice Off Your Roof

Those glistening icicles hanging from your roof may give your home that quaint, wintery look you’ve come to love, but they could also be trying to tell you that something isn’t quite right. Icicles can be a telltale sign that an ice dam has formed on your roof, preventing melting snow from escaping through the eavestroughs — and possibly causing damage to your roof and other components of your home’s construction. Learn exactly how ice dams form and what you can do to stop them in their tracks. How ice damming works An ice dam is a buildup of ice that traps melting snow on your roof, stopping it from running into your eavestroughs and away from your home. This can cause your roof…

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Jan 17, 2019 10 Essential Safety Tips for Snowmobilers

If you snowmobile, that dusting of fresh powder outside may be calling your name — but it’s important to keep safety in mind to avoid any mishaps and make sure you return to the cabin in one piece. Take note of these safety tips and watch the video below to learn your hand signals before you hit the trails. 1. Dress for success. Dress in layers, with well-insulated, wind- and water-proof gear on top and moisture-wicking materials underneath. If you snowmobile often, you may want to purchase a snowmobile suit instead of wearing a regular snow suit. You should also have a well-fitting helmet, gloves, boots, and eye protection (like a visor or goggles). Avoid wearing naturally absorbent fibres like cotton when you snowmobile, as…

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Dec 6, 2018 80% of Canadian Drivers Believe Winter Tires Saved Them from a Potentially Hazardous Driving Situation

Canadian Drivers Believe Winter Tires Saved Them Eighty per cent of winter tire owners believe driving a vehicle equipped with winter tires has saved them from being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation such as loss of control or a collision, according to a new consumer survey commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC). “Canadian drivers who have embraced winter tires have spoken and provided this very telling insight,” says Glenn Maidment, President of TRAC. “They confirmed what we already know—that the superior performance of winter tires has a place in Canada, and that their greater grip and significantly shorter stopping distances on all cold-weather road surfaces keep Canadians safer on winter roads.” TRAC’s 2018 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study also…

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Nov 13, 2018 Winter Tire 101

It’s no secret that getting from point A to point B in the middle of a Canadian blizzard can be tough, to say the least. Thankfully, there’s one simple step you can take towards a smoother, safer — and even cheaper — winter drive: installing a set of quality winter tires. Why use winter tires? As the temperature drops, all-season and summer tires can stiffen and start losing their elasticity, which can lead to decreased traction and poor performance. The rubber used in winter tires, on the other hand, is designed to stay flexible even in extremely chilly weather, so you’ll get a better grip on that slippery side street. Are winter tires good for driving on ice and slush? Although they’re often referred…

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