City offers tips to help Londoners ensure homes are winter-ready

The City of London has released some tips for homeowners to make sure their property is ready for the cold winter months ahead.

Officials with the city say that not properly winterizing a home leaves residents vulnerable to several issues that could lead to costly fixes.

“From a water perspective, the biggest issue we see homeowners have to face is by not protecting their lines from the elements,” said Daniel Hsia, the city’s water demand manager.

Although winter doesn’t officially start until Dec. 21, the cold weather isn’t waiting around until next month.

Hsia says homeowners can prevent frozen pipes by disconnecting all garden hoses from outdoor faucets, shutting off sprinklers and cleaning any debris from eavestroughs.

He says pipes in the crawlspace or basement may seem like they are heated because they are indoors, but many have outdoor access points that allow the winter air to create issues.

“The cold air gets in, it freezes, they’re never down there to look at it, it breaks, water flows and then afterwards, they’re left with a massive bill,” Hsia said.

Even if a home is covered through insurance, Hsia says it might not be covered if the homeowner doesn’t make the effort to winterize the residence.

“Unfortunately, the Leak Allowance program and many home insurance policies will not cover water bills from a failure to winterize your home properly, so avoid the property damage and financial stress by making sure you’re ready for winter,” he said.

Officials are also reminding drivers to have their vehicles winter-ready with an emergency kit, shovel, blankets, warm clothes and food. They say people should prepare a kit that will help them get through the first 72 hours of an emergency.

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