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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!

July 22, 2011

Considering home renovations? How to avoid cowboy builders

Filed under: Tips & Advice — Tags: , , — sharon @ 10:49 am

Often we face the difficult task of having to find a tradesman, quite often in a hurry, whether it’s a plumber, electrician or builder that’s needed.   Cowboy builders are people who carry out work without having the necessary know how, training or certification and can cause you much frustration and costly bills when work is done badly. 

Here are some tips to consider when choosing your contractor:

Recommendation The most reassuring way to choose a tradesman is to go by recommendation.  It’s important to take the time to ask someone you know who had similar work done for recommendation.  If you don’t know anyone who has had similar work done, then be sure to ask your prospective builders who they worked for last and where and if you could contact them for a recommendation?  Any reputable tradesman will gladly offer a selection of recommendations, remember, their past clients have the answers to your questions. 

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December 13, 2010

Worried about what damage heavy snow could do to your property?

Adequately winter-proofing your home will ensure you aren’t one of those left counting the cost as the sub-zero temperatures descend upon us. 

As always, prevention is key, it’s all about locating the problem and fixing it before it’s made worse by the ravages of the winter season.

Here’s a guide from the NFU of what to look out for when faced with deep snow………   

http://www.nfumutual.co.uk/lifestyle/snow-weight.htm

November 30, 2010

Hot tips for a cold spell

Filed under: Tips & Advice — Tags: , , — sharon @ 1:47 pm

With more snow on the way, it’s time to prepare our homes for the winter chill and sub-zero temperatures.  Storm, flood and escape of water from frozen pipes are the biggest risk to homes in the winter months.  Don’t get caught out this winter and be left counting the cost.

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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