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December 7, 2011

Winter-proof your home this December with our top ten tips!

Filed under: Insurance Claims, Tips & Advice — Tags: , — sharon @ 11:41 am

As the nights draw in it’s time to prepare our homes for the winter chill, sub-zero temperatures, wind and rain.

Storm, flood and escape of water from frozen pipes are the biggest risk to homes in the winter months.

Adequately winter-proofing your home will make sure you aren’t left counting the cost and can also have the added benefit of reducing both your fuel bill’s and your CO2 emissions.

Prevention is key;  most cases are preventable, it’s all about locating the problem and fixing it before it’s made worse by the ravages of the winter season.

  • Pipes – the first step is to check lagging on water pipes and cisterns in unheated areas. 
  • Stop Tap – make sure you know the location of your stop tap so that you can turn off in an emergency – make sure stop taps are in good working order.
  • Dripping Taps – should be repaired,
  • Central Heating – get your boiler serviced prior to the onset of winter.  If you are going away for the weekend, it’s a good idea to leave your central heating on low to prevent pipes freezing.  
  • Roof Tiles – check for any loose or missing tiles as you don’t want any rain coming in.
  • Guttering – clear the build up of leaves to prevent rainwater spilling over, check the ends of guttering for blockages.   Icicles hanging from guttering in a cold spell are also an indication of where your gutters may be blocked or leaking.
  • Creeper plants – these can cause cracks in exterior brickwork which can be exacerbated if moisture gets in and then freezes.
  • Tree branches – overhanging branches should be pruned back to avoid potential damage to your property.
  • Chimneys – if using a wood burning stove or real fire, remember to get your chimney swept regularly as a blocked chimney is a major fire risk.
  • Loft insulation – fitting insulation and draft excluders will not only keep your house warm but also reduce your energy bills.
  • Finally, remember to check your building and contents insurance policies are up to date!
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