With recent extreme weather events across the UK, we’ve decided to gather some advice and helpful hints and tips, just in case you’re unfortunate enough to be caught in terrible weather this Autumn and Winter. Our first and foremost piece of advice is to stay safe and our following helpful tips which will hopefully help you take care of your home.
1. Batten Down the Hatches
Between falling trees and broken windows, the cost of the average storm claim in Britain can sometimes be as expensive as a luxury holiday. However, there are lots of ways to minimise the damage caused by gale force winds. Trimming tree-branches, especially those near roofs and windows is very important. It’s worth checking your fences and roof for any loose components and to secure any garden furniture in a garage or under a sheet of tarpaulin.
2. Prepare Your Pipes
A burst pipe in winter can be a miserable affair, so ensure you take steps to avoid this sudden disaster. The best way to avoid a burst pipe is to lag your pipes (cover them with insulating material) and keep the heating on, especially if you’re going to be away on holiday or visiting relatives. There’s nothing quite like having no water to fill the kettle after an icy drive home from the airport!
3. Get Some Grit
We’ve read the headlines warning us about the dangers of snow and ice on winter roads. For icy driveways, it’s important to stock up on a bag of grit in good time, and not to wait until the shops run low. It’s also good to pack the car with a de-icer, scraper and blankets, just in case.
4. Stay Above Water
Flood damage can be very expensive! If your home is at risk of flooding, there are valuable steps you can take in advance. You might consider replacing carpets with hard floors. It’s a well-known fact that water and electricity don’t make a friendly couple. Minimise this danger by moving plug sockets up to a higher point on the wall and keeping valuable electrics such as computers and TVs well above the potential water-line.
5. Lights Out!
At best, blackouts can be quite exciting but they can be a total nightmare if you’re not adequately prepared. Make sure you’re stocked up on torches, batteries, and even a portable phone charger. Other supplies like matches, candles, blankets and dried food are important to keep at hand. With any luck, you’ll be well prepared, and all you’ll need to worry about is which spooky story to tell the kids!
6. Inspect Your Insurance
This may sound like an obvious one, but it’s important to double-check that you are adequately insured both for your property and its contents, in case the worst should happen. Consider any renovations or major purchases you’ve made in the past year which could affect your claim, and review your insurance as appropriate. No matter what the British weather has in store, you’ll sleep more easily through the storm knowing you’ve got adequate cover.
For more practical tips on protecting your home this winter, check out Aviva’s Interactive Weather Checklist. If you’ve got any handy tips on tackling extreme weather, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.