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Lessons from Hurricane Season

It’s unavoidable. Even if you’re not usually a news junkie, all anyone has been talking about these past few weeks has been hurricane Irma (or Harvey or José or Marie…).

Although the storm hit 2400 km away from Toronto, everyone knows someone who, in some way, was affected by the storm. Our snowbird clients who had proper home watch providers looking after their southern homes knew that pre-storm, their homes would be properly prepared according to their storm preparation plan. All hurricane shutters had to be secured, all outdoor furniture brought in and stowed safely. Absentee Florida homeowners who rely on friends and neighbors to check on their homes had to scramble to hire contractors to quickly prepare their homes before the storm, as their friends and neighbors had already fled in advance of the storm. In many cases, these contractors were unfamiliar with the home’s storm preparation protocols and homeowners had to pay exorbitant rates to protect their assets.

Since the storm hit we’ve been in touch with many of the southern National Home Watch Association (NHWA) accredited home watch companies. Many have been diligently checking on their clients’ home after the storm, resolving issues and preventing millions of dollars in damage due to water intrusion. These home watch professionals have been checking on homes over 20 hours a day, often short-staffed due to gas shortages, and without electricity or proper cell phone reception. Do you think your friendly neighbor who’s checking on your home as a “favour” would do this for you?

Not surprisingly, many homeowners who had previously relied on “neighbours doing favours” to check on their homes during the off-season have made the switch to accredited professional home watch providers. Unfortunately many had to learn the hard way that they weren’t really saving money with their previous arrangements.

Toronto may not be prone to hurricanes, but there are countless other ways a home can be damaged. Toronto can have ice storms, frozen pipes, snow damage, rain storms. As the many Toronto snowbirds make their plans to escape out chilly winters, they need to start making arrangements for home checks. Many homeowners like to rely on friends and families to check on their homes while they are away. In our experience, although well-intentioned, most of those homes are not checked on as often as most homeowners’ insurance policies require. We always advise our clients to check their policy to ensure that their homes are being checked on often enough to maintain their coverage.

At Toronto Home Watch we are already scheduling our snowbird clients’ home checks for this upcoming winter season. Call today for a free, no-obligation, in-home consultation and to learn more about our thorough, dependable home check services. Don’t leave your home’s welfare to chance this winter.

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