Now is the time to prepare your home for a cold winter

If the winter this year is anything like, last then you need to ensure that cold-weather checks and repairs are carried out before winter takes its toll on your home.

Our homes which are probably our greatest asset become vulnerable to snow, rain and freezing temperatures. Boilers seem to know when the freezing weather is imminent, breaking down just at the point when we are bracing ourselves for the onslaught of winter.

Hopefully, you have household insurance to claim on, if need be, however premiums have a habit of rising after a claim has been made so I thought I would take you through a few simple things that could help you to avoid costly repairs later on.

Service the boiler

It is every homeowner’s worst nightmare, waking up on a freezing morning only to find the radiators are cold and you have to wash in icy cold water. A broken boiler is not only inconvenient but also costly – replacing the boiler can cost upwards of £1500.

Therefore, I would always recommend booking a full check and service of your boiler with a certified engineer. This should highlight any issues before they become a real headache.

Plumbing

Frozen pipes are a major safety issue, so it is a good idea to add insulation to any external pipes, which will help to stop them from freezing during cold weather. If you are intending to leave your house unoccupied at all this winter, do not forget to set your heating on a timer for a few hours each day to stop the pipes from freezing over.

Gutters and drains

Gutters and drains may become blocked during autumn with leaves and moss. While you may not notice they are blocked in autumn, come winter time gutters and drains play an essential part in keeping your house dry. When they become blocked, rainwater will escape to other parts of your roof and walls. If left untreated, the resulting damp and leaks could cause serious structural damage, which can be costly to repair.

Clean the chimney

Do you love snuggling in front of that open fire on a cold winters evening? Well a dirty chimney is a major fire and safety hazard so remember to sweep and inspect the chimney before you light it for the first time. It is important to find a qualified professional, so check your sweep is registered with either the National Association of Chimney Sweeps or the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.

These few essential bits of maintenance should make your home ready for any British weather.