Don’t be caught out this winter!

With winter fast approaching it is time to start thinking about safeguarding our homes so that we are fully prepared and equipped for the cold winter months. It is very easy to ignore potential risks that may occur due to the change in weather but it is always worth checking on a few vital things before it’s too late.

Have a read of these handy tips that you should consider as we go into winter:

Check your water pipes

If you can physically see the water pipes, be sure to check there are no leaks or cracks which cold atmospheric temperatures can find their way into and possibly lead to bursting a pipe causing a huge escape of water. Also check the lagging and insulation around the pipes, if it is thin or perished look to replace with a denser material particularly to any outside pipes or taps.

Familiarise yourself with the location of the stop cock

Escape of water claims are costly and can quickly cause rapid damage to your property. If you are unfortunate to suffer a burst pipe then it is essential you already know the location of your stop cock to ensure you can switch off the water as soon as possible and help minimise the damage to your property and possessions. They are usually found within the kitchen and underneath the sink.

Check drains and gutters

As well as escape of water claims at this time of the year we tend to see a lot of ingress of water claims, these are usually caused by gutters or drains being blocked and so it is a good idea to check these areas and remove any debris. It may be worth speaking to a local contractor to come out and do this as it may involve the use of ladders. This is also a chance to inspect the roof ensuring PVC or lead fascia and flashings are intact along with not having any missing or cracked tiles, again this will help protect against ingress of water.

Arrange a boiler inspection

If you haven’t had your boiler checked in the last 12 months then now would be a good time to do it. The last thing you need is a boiler failure with the winter weather predicted!

Grit and salt paths and driveways

Stock up on plenty of grit and salt from your local hardware store. When the temperatures plummet and paths and driveways begin to freeze the potential for nasty slips and falls is high so make sure these areas are well treated to avoid any family or friends incurring a nasty injury. Don’t forget as a property owner you could be found negligent if a third party injures themselves at your property so check you have property owner’s liability under your household insurance to help protect against a potential claim.

The above is simple advice but so often forgotten, please do take the time to make these simple checks and mitigate any nasty surprises!