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The ‘art of home maintenance’ is dying

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Despite more people experiencing a home emergency during winter than any other time of the year, nearly half of over-50s no longer do annual home maintenance.

According to a survey carreid out by SAGA, over half of those polled felt that they are unqualified to take on some of the jobs, and a third preferred to pay a professional.

While one in eight claimed they don’t have time to carry out any basic maintenance themselves.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive at Saga Services, said: “English weather is unpredictable so it’s important that people look after one of their greatest assets and keep on top of basic repairs or put some money aside in case the worst happens.”

While most over 50s are on the ball when it comes to getting their boilers serviced (75%), only half get overhanging branches trimmed (49%) or get their gutters cleared (45%).

Only 28% of people check pipes for lagging or cracks, but this could be a costly mistake as on average burst pipes and the damage they cause cost around £1,300 to repair.

Saga said that its record for a leaking pipe is almost £70,000.

Ramsden added: “Unblocking gutters could even provide some entertainment. Saga customers have reported some interesting items found in their gutters – like a WW1 newspaper and their next door neighbour’s tortoise!”

Although a home emergency bill could be expensive, a quarter of over-50s don’t put any money aside to pay for one. 

The majority of emergencies happen over the winter, following the expensive festive period.


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