With winter fast approaching, the ABI is reminding householders to make sure that their home is ‘winter fit’ to withstand any bad winter weather.
The ABI advises homeowners to:
- Reduce the risk of frozen and burst pipes by:
- - Ensuring that water pipes and water tanks in the loft are insulated with good quality lagging. DIY stores and www.energysavingtrust.org.uk can provide some useful advice.
- - If going away keep your heating on for a regular interval each day at a temperature of between 12-15oc
- - Know where your stopcock is and make sure that it works. Your stopcock turns your cold water supply on and off. It is usually found under the kitchen sink. If you cannot locate it, ask a neighbour or seek advice from a plumber.
- - Repair any dripping taps.
- Ensure that your boiler has been serviced recently. This should be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer (www.gassaferegister.co.uk).
- Make sure your roof is in a reasonable condition. Do not put yourself at risk by getting up on it, but if you are able to check from your loft for any broken, dislodged or missing roof tiles. Check any flat top felt roofs as these can be vulnerable to bad weather. Where you suspect problems then contact a roofing specialist.
- Check for any damp patches in upstairs rooms as these can often be a sign of a leaky roof.
- Check your gutters are clear of leaves, and get any broken gutters fixed.
You should also ensure that you have contact details if the worst happens and you need to claim under your home insurance. Policies usually have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure your claim is handled as quickly as possible.
Mark Shepherd, ABI’s Manager, General Insurance, said:
“While we cannot control the weather we can reduce its impact by taking a few common sense precautions now to make our homes more resistant to the winter. We are not all DIY experts, so if in any doubt call in a qualified tradesperson to repair any damage or carry out any servicing.
“Home insurance can of course cover the cost of weather damage, but it cannot compensate for the distress and inconvenience when bad weather strikes, so prevention is always better than cure.”
For more information on preparing for cold weather, see: