Over the last few years, the UK has experienced some pretty harsh winters that put a lot of strain on homes all over the country. There are lots of things that can go wrong when the temperature drops – but no one wants to have to claim on their home insurance unnecessarily.
The best way to help avoid making a claim is to winter-proof your home – and this cold-weather guide can show you how. From inspecting your roof to locating your stopcock, each one of these tips could help protect your home through the cold months. Take a look:
1: Get your roof checked
A missing roof tile can lead to serious water damage – so get your roof checked. Safety comes first, so if your roof is difficult to access, get a roofing specialist or builder to do this for you.
2: Get your boiler serviced
It’s important to get your boiler checked at least once a year, just to make sure it’s running as efficiently and safely as possible. Always choose a CORGI-registered inspector.
3: Get properly insulated
Make sure your cold water storage tank and water pipes are all fully lagged – not only will this prevent them freezing up, you could save on heating bills. Make sure your loft is fully insulated, too.
4: Check your pipes
A leaking pipe can increase the risk of freezing, so inspect all the visible pipework for cracks, leaks or other damage. And if you do find any cause for concern, get it dealt with immediately.
5: Locate your stopcock
A stopcock is the valve that shuts off the water supply to your home. So if you don’t know where it is, find it now. That way, if you’re unlucky enough to get a leak, you can shut off the water immediately and help prevent any further damage.
6: Get your gutters cleaned
A gutter blocked with leaves can damage the gutter itself, not to mention brickwork. It can even lead to damp basements – so if you haven’t already, get your gutters cleaned out.
7: Get trimming
Got any overhanging trees around your house? Get them trimmed back just to be safe – no one wants to put themselves or their home at risk of a collapsing branch.
8: Get equipped
Keep a winter emergency kit handy in your home. Make sure it includes a torch, candles and matches, insulation tape, spare fuses, spare batteries and bulbs, a screwdriver and radiator key, insurance documents, emergency contact details, tinned food, warm clothing, blankets and a shovel.
9: Get properly insured
Even the best efforts to winter proof your home may not be enough. So whatever you do, make sure your house insurance is fully up to date – and that you’ve got the right level of cover. That means getting the right contents insurance as well as home insurance, so you’re properly protected.