02 December 2014

Preparing your home for the colder months

With winter well on the way, here are some essential maintenance tips to keep your house ship-shape as we go into the colder months – which could help you avoid an unnecessary insurance claim, too.

Preparing your home for winter

Inside the house

Check your boiler
The last thing you want is your boiler breaking down in the middle of a cold snap, heavy snowstorm or on Christmas Eve. If it hasn’t been checked in a while, arrange for a professional servicing for some peace of mind.

Where’s your stopcock?
Make sure you know where your stopcock – the device that manages the water supply to your property – is in case you suffer a burst pipe and have water leaking all over the house. The stopcock is usually in the kitchen underneath the sink. Here are 2 ways you can prevent burst pipes:

  • Insulate your pipes
  • Run your heating regularly to keep things ticking over

Think about insulation
Insulating your home can help you save money over winter – and throughout the year. If you don’t have loft and wall insulation, you may want to consider having the work done. Consumer champion Which? estimates that loft insulation could wipe up to £250 each year off your heating energy bills.

Check your insurance policy
Ensure your home insurance policy is up-to-date. Does your policy cover you for winter damage? Make sure you know what’s covered and consider an insurance add-on if you need it.

Outside the house

Clear your gutters
As autumn leaves start to fall your guttering can become clogged. leave it too long water could leak into your roof. If you’re a dab hand with a pair of ladders, you may want to clean them yourself. If not, consider paying someone to do it for you. You can also buy gutter guards to stop things building up.

Outdoor security
Winter can be a peak time for burglaries as the dark nights tempt criminals. Check your home security and see if there’s anything you could do to improve it – such as stronger locks, light sensors and a better alarm.

Check your roof
If you have loose tiles on your roof they could fall off in the event of heavy winds, damaging your roof and potentially hurting people. After a heavy storm, make sure the roof is checked for any damage.

Going away over autumn or winter?

  • Leave the heating on a low level to prevent burst pipes
  • Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on things

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