During winter, one thing we can expect is colder and wetter weather conditions. Weather damage is a major issue faced by homeowners during the winter months, so it’s important to do what you can to protect your home.
To help you make sure your home is winter-ready, our AA Home Insurance team have put together a simple checklist of the most important tips to protect your home from storms, flooding, and any other weather events we could experience this year.
Clear Out Your Gutters
We know this isn’t exactly the most pleasant job, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Blocked gutters can prevent water from draining properly, leaving your home more exposed to potential water damage during heavy rainfall. Take a few minutes to check your gutters are free from any debris, such as moss or leaves, to help reduce the risk of damage. Similarly, it is also a good idea to check your home’s drainage system to make sure rainfall doesn’t build up and pose a flooding risk.
Check Your Roof
We don’t recommend climbing up there yourself, but it can be a good idea to do a visual check of your roof from your garden or driveway to check for loose roof tiles. Previous storms could have loosened or damaged some of your tiles and it’s important to get these repaired as soon as possible to prevent the damage worsening during a future storm.
Have Your Chimney Swept
This job is often at the end of everyone’s to-do-list when it comes to preparing their home for winter, but it’s one you shouldn’t ignore. Over time debris can build up inside your chimney, which represents a serious fire hazard and increases the risk of a carbon monoxide build-up in your home.
While we’re on the topic of fire hazards and carbon monoxide, now is also a good time to check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms. Carry out a quick test of each alarm to make sure they are working. If any of your fire alarms are beeping intermittently that may mean the battery is low and needs to be replaced.
Check Your Heating System
With the home acting as the office for many of us, the last thing you want this winter is to be without heating for several days. Check when your boiler was last serviced and if it was more than 12 months ago get a professional in as soon as possible. If your boiler is due a service in the near future, it may be a good idea to contact a professional sooner rather than later as they are likely to be busy during the winter months.
Prepare For Stormy Weather
Winter tends to bring with it some significant weather events and particularly an increased risk of storms and strong winds. Now is a good time to check any trees in your garden or in the area around your house for signs of damage. In a strong wind older trees could be knocked down or branches could become wind-borne debris and cause damage to your home. If you find a tree that may be at risk of falling, contact a tree surgeon for further assistance.
Don’t Forget The Attic
While you may primarily only use your attic during winter to hide Christmas presents, smaller creatures could choose to call it home if they can find a way inside. Check the attic for any signs of holes or gaps in your vents which could allow birds or other animals to access the attic. Even small animals can cause significant damage if they find their way inside.
Make sure your home is covered with AA Home Insurance.
There are now more ways than ever to make your home warmer and more energy efficient. See here for more on Home Energy Grants.