How to winter-proof your home

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Winter homeWhilst many UK households have delayed putting on the heating thanks to the freak warm spell we’re currently experiencing, the winter is fast approaching.

Last December was the coldest month on record for over 100 years and we might be in line to experience another cold one.

As the nights become colder and soup features more regularly in your diet, its time to start thinking about winter proofing your home.

Heating bills are extortionate in the current climate and whilst knitted jumpers are a great idea, it is vital that you think about how you’re going to keep your home warm in case of any nasty surprises.

Here are some top tips to keep your home cosy over the winter months, and avoid having to claim on home cover;

Gutters

Clean out your gutters! It might seem like one of those monotonous tasks, but to make sure your home is winter proof it is an absolute must. Gutters which are cluttered with autumn debris could cause a water blockage, which may lead to damp or worse. If a gutter is then blocked up with water it could freeze over and pull away from the building, causing further damage! A backlog of water could run the risk of freezing which is bad news for pipes.

Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems that homeowners face during the winter months. There is also nothing worse than a burst pipe to ruin your day. Burst or frozen pipes happen when water freezes, then expands and evaporates. The number of insurance claims for burst pipes has increased by 50% in the last two years according to a study by AXA.

In order to protect your pipes, you might want to invest in jackets for the pipes and boiler. Make sure your heating is on at a low for the majority of the time, and especially when your property is vacant for long periods of time. For example, if you go on holiday for 3 weeks or if you’re a landlord and your tenants have all gone to visit family over the Christmas period.

Roof

Before the weather starts to get really bad, check you roof for missing tiles, cracks, and any other little holes where water could seep through, ultimately causing damage to your home.

It’s also worth checking inside the roof as well. Loft insulation is one way to make sure that all your indoor heating is not lost through the ceiling.

Additional extras

Whilst you can check the roof, it’s also worth having a look at the floor. Heat can be lost through drafts and gaps in between the floorboards and skirting boards. Heat can also be lost through the windows, even if you have double-glazing, so it might be a good idea to buy some thick curtains.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.