This time of the year, it’s worth doing a few simple checks around your property to make sure it’s prepared for what winter might bring, so that any period of prolonged bad weather doesn’t take its toll.
Winter wind and rain can cause severe damage, so check that your roof is in good repair. Are there any loose or broken tiles? Is the flashing around chimneys secure? Apart from the damage that can be caused by falling tiles, their loss can lead to damage to the fabric of the building. Make sure that your guttering is clear and free from obstructions like fallen leaves, moss and debris, as overflowing gutters can cause major structural damage to walls. It makes sense to drain or lag outside taps in case they freeze. Garden furniture and patio sets should be stowed away in a shed or garage to prevent winter damage.
Keeping walkways and paths clean and free from moss and algae will help ensure that they don’t become a hazard if they freeze. It’s worth keeping some de-icing salt handy in case of need. Check that outside lights and security lights are clean and working properly.
Central heating boilers and radiators need to be regularly serviced. If you have boiler cover, you may want to keep the emergency contact telephone number handy. Make sure you know where the stopcock is located, in case you need to turn the water off in an emergency. Pipes and tanks should be lagged and the tank should have a lid fitted.
Smoke alarms need regular testing to ensure the batteries are in working order, and burglar alarms need to be maintained and tested, especially as burglary rates increase during the dark winter months.
It’s worth checking your home insurance policy to see what cover you have for home emergencies, and keep your insurance company’s helpline contact number to hand.