Don't leave your home out in the cold

It’s that time of the year when the days are cooler and the nights longer. We’ve already brought out our coats and scarves to keep us warm, but how much attention has been given to our homes? Don’t wait until it’s too late before taking the necessary steps to make your home the place for warmth and comfort this winter

Winter comes with icy-cold temperatures across the country, and for some areas, a wet winter can be expected. Before the days get too cold and you go into hibernation, make sure that your home is ready to face the weather and keep you snuggled up warmly with these handy tips: 

  1. Cover your bases. Start your mission by checking the perimeter of your property. Take a good walk around your home, inside and out, to check for faults all around. Look out for issues like chips and cracks on the roof, your gutters and walls - they may cause trouble on those cold and possibly windy and wet days. Check all doors, corners and windows when doing your rounds. Taking a note pad to list all the problem areas will help you start your checklist so you can tick things off as you repair.
  2. Make room for the smoke. If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace to keep you warm through the winter time, remember that what goes up will eventually come down – don’t smoke up your home before the fire keeps you warm. Give your chimney a clean sweep through to avoid clogging and damage. Keep your home warm and cosy this winter without the risk of being a fire hazard.
  3. Avoid an unwanted swim. Unfortunately, frozen pipes are not an uncommon thing during the colder days of the year. While frozen pipes can burst from the expansion caused by water pressure, clogged up gutters and roofs also can cause heavy damage – both potentially leaving your home flooded. The last thing you want is to be dealing with a flooded home from a burst pipe or a leaking roof thanks to an overflowing gutter. Be sure to check your gutters regularly and thoroughly inspect your pipes for wear-and-tear, making any necessary repairs.  Also, be sure to check that you are adequately covered with your home insurance should you find yourself in an unfortunate situation.
  4. Floor it. You’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors, so why not look after the ground you walk on daily? Poorly maintained floors are susceptible to aggressive cold fronts and will leave your home feeling icy. Give your feet extra warmth by adding accessories such as mats where you may not have any already. Look after your floors and and add to the insulation of your home by covering any cracks that are present.
  5. Don’t fail your lovely woodwork. Just like the floor, woodwork is susceptible to the aggressively cold weather and dampness. Be sure to give your woodwork – doors, windows floors and all – a good look through before it’s too late. Clean all wooden areas in your home and varnish them properly. Look out for damp - if left unattended you will have musty problems to deal with. Don’t fail your woodwork by letting winter get the better of it.
  6. Keep the warmth in. Obviously, the whole point of staying in is to keep warm (amongst other things), so why risk losing the heat to the cold weather outside? Before bringing out those heaters, ensure that your home is properly insulated – give added attention to your ceiling, windows and doors for this one. Once you’re happy, bring out the heating systems and check that all is still in working order and ready for you to snuggle up at home. To reduce costs and save on energy, invest in efficient/eco-friendly heaters such as gas and wall panel heaters

Just as your car needs regular attention, the same with your home. Maintaining your home goes a longer way than just keeping it warm and secure - it could also minimise reasons why your insurance claim could be rejected in the event of a claim. From small repair jobs, to calling in the experts to handle the bigger areas, look after your home this winter. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check that your home and all its contents are adequately covered with your insurer for all risks.

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