Is your home winter-ready?

Many of us fail to properly prepare our homes for winter.

Floodwater causing problems for houseowners in an Oxfordshire town, with the street temporarily becoming a river.

One in four UK homeowners have experienced damage to their properties due to extreme weather, yet many of us fail to properly prepare our homes for winter.

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More than a third of householders (36%) have had issues with broken or missing tiles during the winter months, according to research by insurer Aviva, whilst 15% have had problems with frozen pipes bursting.

Carry out a bit of extra home maintenance can help protect your property if severe weather strikes. It also means that if you do need to make an insurance claim, your insurer is more likely to pay out. Policies won’t usually cover claims arising from general wear and tear, so if you need to make a claim, you’ll may need to prove that your property was in a good state of repair.

Separate research by Admiral found that many people are aware of the link between maintaining their properties and the potential impact on their home insurance. More than one in 10 (14%) of those questioned by the insurers said that they believed insurance and maintenance were unconnected whilst nearly half said they’d never even considered the link between them.

Here are some of the checks all homeowners should make to ensure their properties are protected against winter weather. Make sure you enlist the help of a professional for any jobs you’re not equipped to tackle yourself.

• Clear guttering: Make sure your gutters are free from leaves or anything that could block them and cause them to overflow or collapse. It’s also worth checking they are properly secured to your property.

• Get your boiler serviced: There are few things more miserable than not having any heating or hot water if your boiler conks out during the winter months, so make sure you have it regularly serviced.

• Lag pipes: To help prevent frozen pipes, make sure pipes are properly lagged. Pipe-lagging can be bought in foam strips and wrapped around pipes, and you can also purchase a jacket for your hot water tank. If you are away overnight, leave the heating on at a low level so that warm water is circulating round the pipes.

• Check your roof: It only takes one or two missing or damaged tiles to let water into your home and cause damage, so take a careful look at your roof to see whether any repairs are needed. If there are parts of the roof you cannot see, it’s worth getting a roofer to take a look every year to see if any work is required.

• Sweep chimneys: If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is swept annually to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.

 

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