How to prepare your home for winter
According to insurer LV= home damage claims spike between October and February, with blocked drains, burst pipes and storm damage wreaking havoc on homes.
Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= home insurance, says: “As the temperature drops and the nights grow longer, your home is at greater risk of burglary and cold weather damage. By spending a little time now ensuring that your house is fully prepared for the winter months, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort should the worst happen.”
Here are LV=’s ten top tips for preparing your home:
Protect your pipes
Water pipes are most likely to burst during cold weather spells and periods of absence. If you’re planning to go away during cold weather, programme your home’s central heating to come on for a few hours each day to thaw your pipes. Also be sure to insulate your pipes and, if you’re away for a long period of time, ask a friend or neighbour to drop by once a week to check on your home.
Seal all of those little gaps around windows, your fireplace and TV and telephone wires where cold wind can seep through.
Clear your gutters
Cleaning away any leaves near your gutters will help keep them clear and prevent any fallen leaves from blocking the drain.
Check your roof
Look carefully for any broken or missing tiles which may need to be replaced. This is especially important if your roof is flat; this kind of roof will generally need re-covering every five to 10 years.
Give your boiler a check-up
Make sure your boiler is in good working order before the cold weather starts to avoid a nasty shock.
Keep the curtains closed
If you’re home at night, keep your curtains drawn – this way potential burglars won’t be able to peek in and see what you have to steal.
Use a light timer
If you’re going away for a long period of time use a light timer. These timers will automatically turn on your lights for a period of time each day, creating the illusion that someone is home.
Fit security lights
Fitting security lights on any dark corners will brighten doors and windows that burglars take advantage of.
Sweep your chimneys
This is a dirty job, but it should be done at least once a year to remove the build-up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls and prevent soot from escaping.
Hide the holiday wrapping paper
Leaving your used holiday wrapping paper and packaging outside of your home is advertising the existence of expensive presents inside. Store any packaging out of site until your next recycling collection.