Home is where the heart is; unfortunately it's also where injuries happen, especially during the winter months. Clearing ice and snow is key to preventing slips and falls, and lasting damage to your property.

We’ve put together a list of smart ways to make winter upkeep a little easier while saving your back and reducing your risk of injury.

Get Ahead of the Weather

As fall turns to winter, it’s time to do some cold-weather prep both inside the house and out. It’s worth taking the time to quickly check that your furnace and roof are in good shape, and that your pipes are properly insulated. Consider doing a little early outdoor work as well, so you won’t be scrambling around an icy front yard putting tarps over cedar shrubs and draining hose lines. Pick a warm fall day to start tackling your list and get ahead of whatever weather is headed your way.

Get Warm

While it’s always smart to warm up before working out in the gym, the same rules apply when working around the home: stretch first, ramp up your effort slowly, and be aware of over-exerting yourself. If you feel faint or short of breath at any point, be sure to stop and recover before continuing.

Upgrade to Modern Equipment

Snow shovel design has improved considerably over the past few years, and newer versions now come with ergonomically shaped handles and better blades. These new shovels are built to push the snow away, as opposed to stooping over and lifting it up. This could reduce the overall effort required to clear paths, which should help to prevent injuries. If clearing snow and ice is becoming a hassle you’d rather avoid, consider upgrading to a snow blower, installing heat mats, or hiring a snow removal service.

Be Bright About Seasonal Lighting

While creating the most impressive holiday lighting display on your block is a noble goal, thousands of emergency room visits occur every year as a result of light-stringing accidents. Put safety first, and don’t let yourself or a loved one suffer a serious fall because a ladder seemed ‘safe enough.’ Always think safety first and avoid a holiday hospital visit.

Consider Outsourcing With Neighbours

Small neighbourhood maintenance providers or landscapers can be more affordable than larger companies. They’re well worth investigating as an option for managing worry-free home snow removal, emergency roof repairs, even to clean fireplaces. Consider enlisting a number of interested neighbourhood families and asking for a group discount.

Your home is one of the most important assets you own. Make sure it’s protected with insurance. Speak to an insurance advisor about home insurance.

 

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.