Keeping your property out of trouble over the winter months can be a challenge, especially if it isn’t well-insulated. However, optimising your property to withstand even the harshest weather can often be a case of taking quick and simple measures and could save you time, money and reduce stress should your property suffer damage caused by bad weather.
Follow our step-by-step guide to help prepare your property for a trouble-free winter.
Protect from the inside out
Whether your own a listed cottage with open fireplaces or a high street business property, here are some simple steps to take.
1) Keep it cosy
Set your heating on automatically so it never falls below 10°C. Double- or triple-glazing windows are hugely beneficial but can be expensive. Insulation kits for doors, thick curtains and draft excluders are cheaper options.
2) Open air
Ensure doors, cupboards and lofts are open where possible. This allows warm air to circulate around your property and you can avoid mould growing on exposed walls.
3) Think pipes
Frozen pipes can be expensive to fix; use pipe lagging around them or add extra insulation around water tanks. Keep your taps running slightly if you know the property will be empty for a few days and make use of your stopcock to minimise damage if your pipes do freeze over.
4) Plan for the worst
Planning for the worst in winter months will ensure you’re prepared if a situation arises. Emergency lights, candles and torches may sound like a no-brainer but they’re often overlooked. Check up on what to do in the event of a power cut and stay tuned to your power supplier as they often send texts with details when power is out.
Protecting from the outside in
It’s just as crucial that your outhouses, garages, garden and the exterior of your property are appropriately protected.
Build-up of wet leaves in your drains and guttering can cause serious issues and damage to your exterior building. Maintain this regularly by removing any build-up or use protective covers to reduce such risk. Prune trees and cut back bushes where appropriate to help this.
Cracks, gaps and broken tiles could undo all the work you’ve done thus far. Check your roof thoroughly to ensure there are no loose tiles and take immediate action where possible.
7) Flying furniture
Infamous white garden furniture can be a menace in high winds. If you expect poor weather, secure any loose furniture for the benefit of both yourself and your neighbours.
8) Garage insulation
What you store in your garage naturally dictates how well you plan to insulate it. In any event, securing garage doors, using unit heaters or simple insulation can go a long way in protecting both the structure and the contents of your outhouses.
If your property suffers at the hands of poor weather, it could be expensive to fix. If you rent your property, you’ll have a duty to carry out repairs quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, you could face further costs or loss of rental income. Whatever the winter weather brings, being prepared is all-important and with the right insurance, you can follow that old adage, ‘prevention is better than the cure’, with ease.
Should you need to make a claim, we are at hand to offer timely advice. If you suffer any property damage and need to make a claim, contact your Account Executive or call 01653 697055.