Snow may make for beautiful scenes on postcards, but it also brings dangers: the costs of damage to your home and property can quickly mount up. Play it safe with these tips.
A glance at the calendar and the thermometer tells us that winter is here. However, preparing for it involves more than stout shoes and pretty festive decorations. Think about how to protect your home and property during the winter season. By preparing for weather damage, you can avoid high costs and protect other people from accidents.
Homeowners have maintenance obligations
When damp gets in and water freezes, it means damage to plasterwork, lost roof tiles or burst pipes at worst. Cracks in the building's façade or leaves in the gutters can also lead to damage. Homeowners should also keep their property and adjacent footpaths free from snow and ice. All routes that are used by passers-by, tenants or flatmates must be cleared and gritted. The duty to clear areas applies to the times when they are generally used by pedestrians – between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
12 tips to winter-proof your home
1. Shut off water connections outdoors and clear water pipes.
2. Service the heating system and check it again when there is a risk of freezing. If the heating breaks down: drain the pipes and use anti-freeze for protection or drain the heating system.
3. Keep gutters and drainpipes clear of leaves and dirt.
4. Check the outside of buildings for any cracks and damp patches.
5. Have the roof inspected for damage.
6. Check or top-up anti-freeze levels in solar installations.
7. Regularly check the condition of trees and remove any dead branches.
8. Keep paths free from leaves, snow and ice.
9. Have a snow shovel and grit ready.
10. In the event of damage, act quickly to avoid further damage.
11. Keep your heating on low when you are away.
12. Be aware of the extra weight of snow on the roof.
However carefully you plan, something can still happen. That's when good insurance cover is important. Buildings and household insurances protect you from the financial repercussions. Get through the cold weather in good shape.