As we enter December, the storms are coming thick and fast and weather forecasts are regularly warning us of severe conditions.
Extreme weather causes millions of pounds worth of damage to homes across the UK every year, but there are some simple steps you can take to help protect your property as we approach the depths of winter.
Check out our top tips for preventing winter damage to your property:
- Call in a professional to make sure your boiler is in good working order before the cold weather sets in – a sudden breakdown over the holidays could lead to frozen pipes as well as a chilly home.
- Have your central heating on for short periods of time throughout the day, or keep it permanently set to at least 10 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. If you will be leaving your house empty for several days, leave your heating on at a low temperature and ask some friends or neighbours to check in.
- Check that your roof is watertight and that no slates are cracked or missing. It can be harder for roofers to access the roof to fix any issues once extreme weather has set in.
- Ensure your gutters and downpipes are clear of any blockages so that water can flow away properly.
- Install insulation sleeves around pipes in colder areas of your home to help prevent them from freezing.
- Know where the stopcock is located so you can turn the water off immediately if you have a frozen or burst pipe.
- If you have any small cracks in the exterior of your home, get them fixed as soon as possible – these will expand and push the brickwork further apart if water gets in and freezes.
- Most frozen pipes are found in roofspaces and below sink units. Let warm air move around these areas by leaving trap doors and cupboard doors open from time to time.
- If you have trees close to your property, get them pruned. Strong winds can weaken trees and cause them to fall over or lose branches, which could damage your home or even cause injury.
- If you do suffer any damage to your home, contact your insurer immediately for assistance. If further damage is incurred as a result of the initial issue being left unchecked, your insurer may not cover this.