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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!

June 10, 2011

Sister company Auger feature in C4 show ‘Help! my house is falling down’

Our sister company ‘Auger’, site investigation and drainage specialists, featured in last night’s C4 Sarah Beeny show in which she helps a couple who fear their house is sinking.  We proudly watched on as Iain took to the camera like a pro and assisted Sarah in investigating the cause of the subsidence and recommendations for repair. 

For those who missed the show, see Iain in action here and learn how important it is to get a strucutural report done before you enter into any contractual arrangements when purchasing a property.

If you have cracks appearing or any other signs of movement give us a call now and find out how Brewsters team of structural engineers and surveyors can help you or find out more about our structural reports here.

Don’t miss the next show, Thursday at 8:00pm, C4!

February 2, 2011

Climate and Capacity Planning for the ‘Subsidence Claims’ World

OCA have issued their latest paper aimed to help those in the world of insurance claims and tree related subsidence of low rise buildings.

The report examines the recent cold weather we have been suffering, the probable causes and goes on to provide forecasts which may aid with capacity planning and what the likelihood is of a ‘Summer Surge’.

Read the report here ……

January 4, 2011

Worried about dangerous trees?

As the extreme winter weather persists you may find yourself concerned about nearby trees and overhanging branches, their stability and what could happen if heavy snow or strong winds caused them to collapse and fall causing serious damage and injury.

NFU have the following advice:-

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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 10, 2010

More flood warnings issued

With more flood warnings issued in York and surrounding areas, here’s some helpful tips from RICS if you are affected:-

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October 20, 2010

TPO’s to be cut short

Proposals to simplify Tree Preservation Order paperwork has been announced by planning minister Bob Neill.

As part of the government’s drive to cut red tape, the proposal aims to consolidate the legal provisions currently contained in regulations and tree preservation orders (TPO’s) in England.

This move should save councils thousands in administration costs each year by using a shorter and easier to understand model order. 

This is good news for homeowners and insurers alike as the new process should not only remove ambiguities but ultimately speed up the often extremely complex and lengthy process of appeals and hearings when dealing with Local Authorities and tree related subsidence.

October 13, 2010

Flood protection will escape worst of government’s cuts

Filed under: Environment News, Industry News — Tags: , , , — sharon @ 10:01 am

The government’s flood minister has signalled that flood protection will escape the worst of the cuts in the comprehensive spending review, the details of which will be announced on 20 October.

Environment minister Richard Benyon told a Conservative Party conference fringe event on flooding, held on Tuesday by the ABI, that flood defences were viewed as a priority.

If you have suffered a flood you will know how devastating and distressing it is.   Brewsters have extensive first hand experience in dealing with flood related insurance claims, most recently those in Hull and Gloucester in 2007.

There are steps you can take to help prevent flooding from damaging your home by fitting flood resistant measures such as flood guards to your property and using flood resilient materials such as water resistant plaster.

FLOODWALL’ provides an inexpensive flood-defence system which will not only offer you flood protection but also help you acquire sensibly priced insurance cover, normal premiums and minimal excess.

For a video demonstration and to find out more, visit www.floodwall.uk.com

September 13, 2010

Climate change; number of droughts likely to increase?

A Met Office study on how climate change could affect the frequency of extreme droughts in the UK has found a range of possibilities — the majority of them showing such droughts will become more common.

For insurers, dry spells mean an increase in subsidence claim numbers.

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September 2, 2010

It won’t be long before the cracks start to appear

We can’t ignore the warnings that it won’t be long before the cracks start to appear as Britain’s insurance industry brace themselves for the predicted surge in subsidence claims following this year’s weather conditions.

The Met Office have reported that the UK has had the driest first 6 months of the year since 1929.

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