Protecting your home this winter…

Winter has arrived! There are some small steps you may wish to take to help protect your home from the risks of damage during winter.

Burst pipes inside your home can be disastrous, the following may help prevent pipes from freezing and subsequently bursting……….

  • If you intend to leave your home unattended overnight, take steps to help prevent your pipes from freezing and the risk of bursting. That could be maintaining the heating at 15c or draining down water systems. But it is also important that you check your Policy for any terms and conditions applicable.
  • Ensure water pipes and tanks/cylinders are adequately lagged/insulated, especially in unheated areas of your home such as a loft/attic and/or a basement. If the loft is insulated, the heat generated within the house may not find its way into the loft leaving the loft pipes prone to freezing. So, allowing warm air to circulate within all areas of your home may help prevent pipe freeze.
  • Make sure you know the location of your stopcock and that you can easily turn it off if needed as it can become quite stiff if not used regularly. Better to check it functions adequately now, before a pipe bursts.
  • You may wish to ask a relative or friend to check your property regularly while you are away (post could also be picked up, as a pile of post accumulating is a sign no one is home)

If you do suffer a burst pipe due to the pipes freezing, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent further damage:

  • Turn off the water and turn on taps to make sure the system is drained to prevent further water escaping.
  • Try to locate where the water is leaking from
  • It may not be possible to safely switch off your electrics, so do not touch any sockets or switches and consider contacting an electrician.
  • Move valuables and furniture away from any dripping water or flooded areas if possible.

Maintenance is key.....

  • Check your guttering and drains are clear of blockages such as leaves and other debris, to ensure rainwater is carried away from your home. This will help prevent overflowing and, potential damp penetration.
  • Inspect the roof areas, including chimneys, and look for loose, cracked or dislodged tiles and, ensure flat roof areas are in good condition.
  • Pack away/secure garden tools and furniture etc.
  • Check TV aerials and satellite dishes, ensure they are securely fixed.
  • When clearing snow or ice from driveways and patio areas use sand or salt to help prevent ice developing, water should not be used as this can refreeze.
  • Consider a leak detection device (which are designed to shut off the water supply if it detects persistent continuous water flow)

Please keep personal safety in mind when checking your home and, contact a trusted professional should you not be able to do so yourself.

You should only attempt such measures if it is safe for you to do so.

If in doubt, contact us, or your Insurer who can advise you on the best course of action and advise coverage available under the Policy. The above is for your guidance only and, is not intended to be an exhaustive list of measures and nor should this be taken as an approval for any works.