It pays to pre­pare your home for stormy and win­ter weather

Prop­erty Ad­vice

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY NEWS -

Grace Ham­mond

Ac­cord­ing to Hal­i­fax Home In­sur­ance, the av­er­age cost of a claim to re­pair burst and frozen pipes and wa­ter dam­age was just over £3,100 per in­ci­dent last year.

David Rochester, head of un­der­writ­ing, said: “Burst and frozen pipes are com­mon in win­ter and re­pair costs can be ex­pen­sive, par­tic­u­larly if wa­ter is left leak­ing for long pe­ri­ods.

It is im­por­tant to know how to re­duce the risk of it hap­pen­ing to you, and also what you should do to limit the sub­se­quent dam­age if a pipe does burst.

Here are some tips:

Turn off the mains wa­ter sup­ply

Turn the elec­tric­ity off in ar­eas af­fected by the leak via the fuse box. If sub­stan­tial wa­ter dam­age has been sus­tained, the elec­tri­cal sup­ply should be turned off com­pletely un­til a qual­i­fied elec­tri­cian is able to in­spect the elec­tri­cal sys­tem and en­sure it is safe

Drain the wa­ter sys­tem down by run­ning all the cold taps

Any drip­ping wa­ter can be caught in buck­ets. If the ceil­ing starts to bulge, pierce a few small holes in it to let the wa­ter drain through

If wa­ter has been leak­ing for some time and the ceil­ing is bulging sig­nif­i­cantly, it may not be safe to en­ter the room

Turn off the cen­tral heat­ing and im­mer­sion heater, and turn on the hot taps to help drain the wa­ter sys­tem

Con­tact your home in­surer as soon as pos­si­ble for fur­ther ad­vice or to reg­is­ter a claim.

Stormy weather can also play havoc with homes. Last year the av­er­age cost of a claim for storm dam­age was around £900. Home­own­ers are ad­vised to carry out a few sim­ple checks to help pro­tect their prop­erty this win­ter.

Keep the cen­tral heat­ing set to at least 10 de­grees to pre­vent pipes from freez­ing

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.

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.

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.

Hal­i­fax Home In­sur­ance of­fers its cus­tomers a 24-hour Emer­gency Home­line.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.