Date Published 26 November 2012
With a harsh winter predicted and freezing temperatures on the way, It is advisable to give your home a winter health check now to reduce the risk of damage to their property.
Last year Lloyds TSB Home Insurance handled 26,500 burst and frozen pipe claims which cost over £39million to put right, and over 14,000 windstorm damage claims totalling over £5million to fix.
Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds TSB Home Insurance, said: "In winter we tend to think less about our homes` exterior and like to retreat indoors, however there are some essential checks that need to be carried out to see it through the bad weather. Prevention is the key, as much of the damage could be avoided if householders spent a small amount of time preparing for the bad weather."
Check the condition of the roof. Look for cracked or broken tiles, cracks in the chimney or problems with the pointing. If any repairs are needed, hire a professional roofing contractor to carry out the work as soon as possible;
Clear the gutters and drain pipes of any leaves or debris that have built up in them to reduce the risk of blocks and overflows
Keep gates and outbuilding doors fastened securely and secure any other loose items
Check external light fittings are secure
Cut back low hanging branches that could cause damage in high winds or storms.
Have your boiler serviced at least once a year by a GasSafe registered professional and have the central heating and gas fires checked to ensure they are working safely and efficiently
Check that the loft is insulated properly but also has adequate ventilation
Thicker curtains will help to keep more heat in the home
Keep the central heating set to at least 10 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing
Keep a home emergency kit prepared in case of a winter emergency such as a severe snowstorm.
This could include torches, spare bulbs and batteries, your home insurance documents, other emergency contact details, tinned food, warm clothing, blankets and a shovel
Listen to the radio or check online for regular updates on the weather or other emergency situations