As the weather gets colder it’s essential to protect your property against sub-zero conditions throughout the colder months.
Frozen pipes and water damage can be just the tip of the iceberg in winter, which is why we’ve rounded up some of our top tips to help keep your home safe from the cold.
Check your roof
Look out for broken slates or tiles. Getting roof problems rectified sooner rather than later could help prevent further damage to your home and your wallet. Even if snow isn’t forecasted checking your roof regularly can also help prevent damage from winter storms
Exclude the draughts
Feel for drafts around your windows and invest some time in sealing them, this will help keep your home warm and possibly reduce your energy bills. Windows, doors, vents and fans, letterboxes tend to be the most common areas for draughts check these cold spots first when investigating any air leaks.
Keep some grit handy
It’s a good idea to keep your own stash of sand and grit to use with your snow shovel to keep your property’s paths and steps safe in freezing conditions.
Gutters and drains
It’s essential to keep gutter drains clear before the snow, ice or heavy rains hit. Blocked drainage could mean that water gets trapped and freezes in the pipes putting a strain on your properties structure and increasing the risk of leaks.
Ask a chimney sweep to clean out your chimney to remove excess soot, blockages, and built-up creosote and don’t forget to check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure you change the batteries at least every 12 months or new detectors are completely replaced every 10 years.
Park the Car
If you are expecting heavy snow and ice, keep your vehicles in a garage or undercover.
Where you don’t have a choice but to park out in the open try to avoid trees and buildings as it is more likely that laden branches will break or falling clumps of snow or ice land on the vehicle causing damage. It’s also a good idea to make sure your car is winter-ready.
Stock up on essentials
Keep a home emergency kit on standby so you can stay cosy and calm if the weather worsens without the need to dash to the shops.
A good home emergency kit should include tinned or packed foods, a portable cooker, bottled water, spare batteries, a torch, a power bank for your mobile phone, a first aid kit, water-proof clothes, spare blankets, your insurance documents, and emergency contact numbers.
Protect your pipes and tanks
Insulate all external pipes with weather-resistant insulation as well as any unheated internal areas such as, garages and lofts. If your water tank is also in your loft, make sure it’s also properly insulated against the elements.
A poorly insulated water tank could mean the water in the tank freezes. Not only will this cause you supply problems but when the water freezes it expands, which could mean splits and cracks in the tank’s walls. Once the ice begins to melt, the water could leak through the cracks into your property below, damaging your home or business premises.
To protect yourself financially from plumbing or drainage emergencies it’s a good idea to have a home emergency cover included on your building insurance. Request a quote here.