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5 Steps to Ensure Your Property is Safe this Winter

5 Steps to Ensure Your Property is Safe this Winter

With winter being so unpredictable, prepping your home’s exterior is a crucial step to keep it as safe as possible for you and your family. When winterizing your home this year, include these steps to ensure your property is safe and ready to take on the messy weather.

Clear the Roof and Pathways

Most cities will require you to remove snow and ice from the walkways that are adjacent to your property within 24 hours. Building owners are also required to clear snow and ice that could pose a public safety hazard. This includes rooftop accumulation that could fall on someone below. Keeping the roof and pathways clear of snow accumulation will not only help you avoid fines, but it can also prevent an occupier liability. All it takes is one tenant, neighbour, or delivery person to slip and fall or become incapacitated from overhead snow to result in a costly lawsuit.

Clean Out the Gutters

Melting ice and snow should always be able to easily move through the gutters and downspouts. If there’s debris collecting in your gutters, large chunks of ice can eventually melt and cause water to run down the roof and seep back under the shingles. The result – wet and stained ceiling walls, peeling paint, and even wood rot. So make sure your gutters are thoroughly cleaned out throughout the winter season to prevent any water damage to your home. And don’t forget to divert the downspouts so that the water runs away from your home, not towards your foundation.

Trim Hanging Branches

Branches can easily break under heavy snow or ice loads. Those that are close to your home are a serious risk of injury, broken windows, and property damage. If tree branches are too close to power lines, they can also put you at risk of a power outage or worse. Take the time to trim any branches that are close to your home and hire a professional to address trees that are growing close to any electrical wires.   

Address Broken Handrails

Loose or broken handrails can cause someone to lose their footing and slip on ice and snow during the winter. Test all your handrails to ensure that they are intact and secure. It’s also important to ensure there’s enough light in the area so that hidden hazards can be easily located.

Fix Any Faulty Steps

Property owners are liable for stair accidents in the same way they are liable for slip and fall accidents. If you have any shifty, rotten or crumbling stairs, these should be repaired before they become dangerous once they get covered in ice and snow.  Slip-resistant tread surfaces can also be added for extra protection.

If you’re hurt from a slip and fall accident or have been injured from falling snow or overhead branches, contact us at Zuber Brioux. Our team of personal injury lawyers will get you the compensation you deserve.