Winter is a time when we see a lot of claims from our clients. With periods of sub-zero temperatures and storms, it can put your property at risk – from frozen pipes leading to escape of water, for example. And whilst there’s talk of another ‘Beast from the East’ in 2021, we’ve outlined some measures you can take to help reduce the risk to your home and property.
Preparing for winter weather
There are a number of tasks you can do to prepare your home, garden, or business from the winter weather. Reduce the risk of burst pipes by:
- Leaving the heating on a minimum of 15 degrees
- Making sure you insulate the water tank in the attic, plus any pipes that are likely to freeze with minus temperatures.
- Turning off the water supply to your outside taps
- Checking your roof – Before it gets windy it’s also worth checking for loose tiles, slates and flashing and consider removing dead branches from old trees.
- Clearing your guttering – if this builds up with leaves and other debris, water will go back into the guttering and leak into the roof and sides of your house
- If you’re away from a property that you own for long periods, or it’s unoccupied, turn off the water supply at the stopcock and consider draining down so that there’s no water left in the pipes.
- Getting your boiler checked to make sure your heating is running correctly.
- Keeping your heating on continuously throughout winter
If you do discover a burst pipe, to prevent further damage, it’s essential that you turn off the water at the stopcock and slowly drain down the system. Try to catch any excess water from the burst pipe in a bucket. Depending on the damage, you will need to ensure the electrics are safe, so contact a local electrician, and in the meantime, do not use any electrical devices.
Winter vehicle checks
As well as making sure your property is protected against the winter weather conditions, it’s advisable to make sure that your car is too. If you’re heading out in your car, make sure you keep some essential items in the boot of your car, like a thick blanket, reflective jacket, torch and a bottle of water. You can read our full article on winter vehicle checks here.
And finally, make sure your car or van is properly insured just in case the unexpected happens.