Monday, February 25th 2019, 9:56 am - As temperatures rise and snow melts, you'll be reminded of a lot of the less welcome aspects of the season
Spring is a season of variable weather, but we probably don't have to tell you that. But it isn't only the weather that you have to watch out for as winter retreats.
So here are five things to keep in mind.
5. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO REMOVE THOSE WINTER TIRES?
Winter tires tend to lose their grip when the outdoor temperature climbs above 7°C, so most auto experts recommend removing them when the day-time high consistently hovers around that mark.
But there are other factors that should go into deciding when to replace your tires with all-seasons, and most of them are location-dependent.
In Quebec, for example, it's illegal to remove winter tires before March 16, and for good reason.
Late-season snowfalls are common across Canada, especially in Quebec and along the east coast.
4. PREPARE FOR FLOODS
In some parts of Canada, spring flooding is a near-annual event, due to a combination of heavy rain, warming temperatures and a melting snowpack.
If you live in a flood-prone area, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of property damage:
Review your home, automobile and cottage insurance policies prior to a flood.
Living in a flood-prone zone may make a home ineligible for flood insurance – but living outside of a flood area doesn't necessarily ensure coverage.
"Buyers need to be aware that houses may be deemed to be a flood risk despite not being near water," Garth Macdonald, a student-at-law at Delaney’s Law Firm in Ottawa, Ont., told The Weather Network in 2015.
"Each insurance company determines which areas are at risk. Categories like 'flood plain,' 'susceptible zones,' and 'fringe flooding areas' will affect insurability, rates, and policy riders."
Inspect your home for vulnerable areas and make necessary repairs.
This includes elevating appliances that could be damaged by water, including your furnace, oil tank, water heater and electrical wiring. You may also want to install backflow valves to prevent sewer lines from backing up.
Move valuables to higher ground.
Basements are vulnerable to flooding, so it may be a good idea to remove anything of value prior to flood season.
WATCH BELOW: SPRING - THE BEST TIME FOR BIRD WATCHING?
3. DON'T FORGET SUN SAFETY
It's natural to want to head outdoors when the warmer weather hits -- and when you do, be sure to wear your sunscreen.
You can get a sunburn at any time of the year and that includes cloudy days. It's important to stay safe when spending an extended period of time outdoors.
Here are a few tips:
- Health experts say finding the right sunscreen is important. SPF 15 blocks 93 per cent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97 per cent and SPF 50 blocks 98 per cent.
- Remember to look for a sunscreen that offers "broad spectrum protection". This will protect against UVA rays, which can cause cancer and wrinkles.
- Wear a hat, protective clothing and avoid direct sun exposure during peak times.
2. GET READY TO SNEEZE
If you're one of the estimated 25 per cent of Canadians who suffer from springtime allergies (also referred to as hay fever), we apologize.
April and May are typically the worst months for seasonal allergies, because that's when tree pollen peaks.
Fortunately, spring showers can help keep allergies (somewhat) under control.
"Not only will the rain wash out the pollen that's in the air, it's going to inhibit pollen release from the flowers that are ready to release pollen but are waiting for dry weather," biologist Estelle Levetin told the CBC in 2011.
If hay fever has a negative impact on your quality of life, talk to your doctor. There are a variety of prescription and over-the-counter remedies available.