Winter is coming, and it can wreak havoc on your home.
Overhanging tree branches can break in storms, or become laden with snow, damaging your roof, windows and guttering. Loose roof tiles will cost you money in lost heat, and can let in rain, debris and even animals or birds. Icy temperatures can cause your water pipes to freeze or burst.
Between November 1 and March 31 every year, the Met Office provides a Cold Weather Alert Service
to give you advanced warning of adverse weather conditions.
But before any cold weather blows in, here are simple tasks you can do yourself to protect your home against the elements.
1. Get in the garden
Chop down any low-hanging tree branches and cut back overgrown hedges to reduce the amount of dead foliage clogging up your gutters. This can also prevent damage from snow that builds up on trees and branches.
2. Clear gutters
Clear guttering and drainpipes to prevent blockages caused by leaves and moss - they could cause water to back up. The last thing you want this winter is water leaking into the roof and down the walls of the house.
3. Fix your roof
On a dry day, replace any cracked or missing roof tiles. While you're up there, check any TV aerials or satellite dishes - they should be firmly secured.
4. Prevent your pipes from freezing
One of the most costly problems during winter is freezing and bursting pipes. Thankfully, it's preventable.
When water pipes run through an unheated part of the house, the low temperatures cause the water inside to turn to ice. When water in a pipe freezes, it expands, putting pressure on metal and plastic pipes. If the pipe breaks, it can release a torrent of water into your home. To help prevent this, insulate your loft, the sides of your water tank and all pipes with good quality insulation.
Giving your home a quick once-over this winter can prevent any problems cropping up once winter arrives. It’s worthwhile checking what is and isn’t covered by your home insurance policy
– and finding out whether you have a home emergency service
included in your cover.