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Preparing your home for winter

Baptist Insurance’s tips for getting your home winter ready

Winter suburbs300When the clocks go back and the days get shorter, there is no way we can escape the fact that winter is on its way. Before the cold weather arrives make sure your home is prepared for winter with our simple check list.
Make sure you know where the stopcock is in your home and check it works. If you suffer from burst water pipes during the winter you’ll need to turn it off quickly to stop water flooding out and causing damage.

Make sure all pipe work, cisterns and tanks in unheated areas like lofts, roofs and under floor spaces, outbuildings and garages are well insulated. If they are not take some time to fit suitable pipe insulation with something like waterproof foam lagging.
Before winter arrives turn the heating on and make sure it’s all working. Baptist Insurance’s advice is to run the heating at least once a month, even in summer, to keep it running efficiently and clear the boiler pump of any grit that gathers when it’s not in use.
Spend some time in your garden checking any walls, fences and hedges making sure they are well maintained and stable. Most household insurance policies do not cover gates and fences for storm damage so it’s up to you, the homeowner, to make sure they are stable and secure before winter arrives.
Take some time to check your roof, look for any loose tiles, because they can easily become dislodged during high winds and storms. Apart from the damage caused by falling tiles, it can lead to damage to the fabric of the building. Make sure that gutters and drain pipes are clear of leaves and other debris. If it rains heavily and the gutters overflow this can lead to water getting into the masonry.
Remember, even the best pipe insulation will not stop exterior pipes from freezing in a prolonged period of low temperatures. In advance of any lengthy periods of frost, isolate and drain down external pipe work, outside taps and exposed plumbing and leave taps open. When the weather conditions improve the water supply can be restored.
Every year Baptist Insurance takes calls from people who have suffered damage to their property as a result of cold weather. The repairs can be costly and cause a huge amount of disruption. By giving your home a winter health check now you can make sure you have done all you can to protect your home.

Visit the Baptist Insurance website for more information or to download a copy of ‘tips for getting your home winter ready’ www.baptist-insurance.co.uk/wintertips

Baptist Times, 19/11/2014
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