Worst winter blast since 2011: how to protect your home from freezing weather
It’s important to ensure your home is prepared for everything that the winter months might throw at it, especially this year.
Cold and stormy weather can ravage buildings so take the time this weekend to make sure you have the correct level of home insurance cover.
Check the small print – some policies may not cover sheds and outbuildings, and others won’t cover damaged boilers if they haven’t been seen by a registered plumber.
Top 10 tips for protecting your home from winter weather
- Check your boiler and heating system – If you haven’t done so already this year, get your boiler checked and/or serviced by a Gas Safe registered plumber.
- Roof tiles– Check for any cracked, missing or loose tiles and replace them. If a roof is in disrepair, the weight of snow or high winds can prove to be hazardous.
- Keep the central heating on – Set the central heating to a minimum of 14 degrees Celsius throughout the winter. It helps to prevent pipes freezing and frost damage.
- Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe.
- Repair damaged chimneys– Look for cracks around chimney pots and at the roof join, also for loose render and render that’s come away from the stack. High winds and heavy rain can damage chimneys even further, so make sure they’re properly stable before extreme weather happens.
- Windows– Take a look at your window frames and fill any cracks and put on a coat of paint if needed. Extreme temperatures and wet weather can cause untreated wood to expand and rot and treating the window sills helps prevent water and frost damage.
- Insulation – Lag any pipes and water tanks in exposed areas such as lofts, garages and utility rooms to prevent pipes freezing and bursting.
- Guttering and drains – Clear your guttering and drains of any debris such as leaves, mud and stones; they can block easily and freeze up.
- Walls – Check the pointing in brickwork both on the main house, all outbuildings and garden walls, look for any loose stone or areas that are in need of repair.
- Fuse box and electrics– A home’s electrics are a major source of insurance claims. If you haven’t done so in a while, get a registered electrician to check your home’s fuse box and wiring.
Adam Powell is head of operations of insurance provider Policy Expert