Give Your Home A MOT Before Winter Sets In
Keep your home warm and cosy this winter and follow these few essential checks before winter sets in.
Winter is just around the corner meaning households will be thinking about the cost of fuel as they crank up the heating in a bid to stay warm, while also facing potentially high costs to repair damage caused to their homes by the cold.
Figures from Lloyds Bank Home Insurance show it handled 26,500 claims for burst and frozen pipes last year which cost more than £39 million to put right.
The insurer also had to deal with more than 14,000 claims for wind-storm damage, which totalled more than £5 million to fix.
"As the winter approaches, we like to retreat indoors and tend to think less about the exterior of our homes," says Tim Downes, from Lloyds Bank Home Insurance. "However, there are some essential checks that should be carried out over the next few weeks to help see your home through the bad weather. Prevention is the key. By taking some small steps now to winter-proof your home, you can minimise the risk of problems arising."
Here is our guide to carrying out a home MOT to prepare your property for the months ahead.
PREVENT BURST PIPES
To reduce the risk of pipes bursting, make sure water pipes and tanks in the loft are insulated with good-quality lagging. Also keep the central heating set to at least 10C.
Repair any dripping taps to prevent water from freezing, and remind yourself where your stopcock is, so you can turn it off in an emergency.
CHECK THE ROOF AND GUTTERS
Now is the time to ensure your roof is in a good state of repair. "Look for cracked and broken tiles, cracks in the chimney or problems with the pointing," says Downes.
If any repairs are needed, hire a roofing contractor to carry out the work as soon as possible. "Check your furnace and chimney are clear of obstructions, and get them cleaned annually by professionals," adds Steve Herbert, from HomeServe.
Ensure that your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris that has built up in them. This will reduce the risk of blocks and overflows.
GIVE YOUR GARDEN THE ONCE-OVER
Secure loose objects such as dustbins and garden furniture to protect items from strong winds and storms. Where possible, store items in a shed or garage. Keep gates and outbuildings doors fastened securely, and check that trees close to your home have been trimmed and maintained.
All you need to complete your MOT can be purchased from Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire. Just give us a call or call in and see use, now before winter sets in.