tHE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WINTER HOME PROTECTION
Over 9 million UK workers have had to call in sick, take unplanned holiday or arrive late to deal with winter-related home emergencies. That’s an awful lot of frozen pipes and broken heaters to deal with. And no doubt a huge sum of cash to part with for repairs.
So do yourself (and your employer!) a favour, take steps to prepare your home now before the winter weather really kicks in.
To help you avoid the suffering of home emergencies this winter, we’ve created The Ultimate Guide to Winter Home Protection.
In our new guide, we’ll explain the cause and effect of the most common winter home emergencies. You’ll learn how to:
See more information on energy saving, going away for an extended period over the winter and how to prepare for a storm below.
TRY THESE ENERGY SAVING TIPS
If you turn the thermostat down by just one degree you could save £65 a year on heating costs.
Refer to your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you have one: all properties now get one when they are built, sold or let. The EPC provides details on the energy performance of your home so you can take steps to improve it. If you’re not sure how to access this information, visit the EPC Register to search for your property.
REDUCE YOUR ENERGY COSTS
Most homeowners are at home after work in the evenings. To reduce energy costs while you are not at home, lower the heating temperature or set a timer for it to come on for short intervals throughout the day.
Seal cracks to reduce draughts around the house. For instance, use weather-stripping around windows and doors. You could also change to heavier-lined curtains for the winter months, which will help to keep draughts at bay too.
4 STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME IF YOU’RE OFF ON A LONG WINTER HOLIDAY
If you’re leaving your home unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, make sure that you check your policy details (including any endorsements and the terms and conditions) to be sure that your home insurance cover is still in place.
- Turn your water supply off at the stopcock, unless the heating system is powered by a condensing boiler that requires constant pressure.
- If leaving the heating on to prevent pipes freezing, make sure that it is always at a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.
- If you are planning to simply turn the heating off while you are away then don’t forget to drain your hot water and heating system so that there is no water left in the pipes to freeze.
- Make sure your empty property is checked regularly. Ask a family member, friend, neighbour or key holding service to visit the house every few days.
PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR A STORM
Maintenance is key! By making repairs now you can reduce the risk of storm damage and wind damage to your home. Simply securing loose slates and removing dead tree branches can save you cash and hassle later down the line by avoiding unnecessary damage.
If a storm is heading your way, take a look at our handy checklist to help ensure your home is protected. Or, for larger jobs, consider hiring a professional.
- Close all windows and doors, especially large doors such as garage or patio doors.
- Put garden furniture in a garage or shed, or bring it inside the house. Remember your washing line poles too.
- Check that TV aerials and satellite dishes are securely fastened. Secure any loose cables and electrical wires.
- Clear gutters of leaves and debris. Take care if you’re using a ladder, especially in high winds!
- Check there are no loose roof tiles or slates or loose coverings on sheds and outbuildings. Check chimneys and repair any broken brickwork.
- Clear ground drains of leaves to make sure that rainwater can flow freely into the drains. Keep an eye on outdoor hose pipes too, to prevent freezing.
- Secure fences, repair garden walls and fix gates that don’t close firmly so they are not damaged by strong winds.
- Park your cars in a garage or away from trees and fences.
- Remove dead tree branches so they don’t fall.
Please note that the Homeprotect policy doesn’t include cover for storm damage to fences, gates or TV aerials. See a full break down of what is and isn’t covered in our policy booklet.