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Protecting your home against the cold

Winter is on its way – are you beginning to feel the chill yet?

When you feel it in your bones, then it’s certainly time to think about protecting your home against the cold too – you might be able to put another jumper on easily enough, but if your home is allowed to suffer the effects of the cold the damage might prove costly indeed.

Tips on protecting your home against winter damage abound – and under the terms of any home insurance you have, typically you must keep your home in a good state of repair and well-maintained – but here are some specific suggestions about keeping out the cold:

Pipework

  • probably the greatest threat from the cold comes from the escape of water once pipework freezes and bursts;
  • effective winter protection, therefore, starts with a check on the condition of the pipes – making sure to repair and replace any split or cracked sections;
  • lagging is cheap, easy to install and provides just the kind of jacket to insulate the pipes against the cold – Affinity Water offers a helpful video on how to fit the lagging, which also needs to wrap around fittings in your plumbing system;
  • pipework in the loft, out in your garage, or any running along the outside of your home are the most vulnerable, suggests an article in the Express newspaper on the 16th of March 2018, so pay particular attention to these areas;
  • similar care needs to be taken with pipework in the airing cupboard and under sinks;
  • keeping the pipes – and the water that runs through them – above freezing point means ensuring they stay warm, so make certain that your boiler and central heating system is up to the task by having it fully serviced and any repairs made before you start to rely on it for winter warmth;
  • take the chance to review the standard of insulation in your home as a whole and consider options such as draught-proofing, cavity wall and loft insulation, solid wall insulation, floor insulation, and insulating your hot water system;
  • all of these measures may not only help prevent pipes from freezing but also combat damp in your home during the winter months;

Fireplaces

  • you may have paid attention to the central heating boiler, but don’t forget the fireplaces in your home – which have probably been lying idle for the best part of the year, but may need to be brought back into service during cold snaps;
  • if it is an open fire, consider the type of fuel you are likely to be burning and ensure that the chimney is professionally swept before the onset of winter – the use of some fuels might mean that you need to have the chimney swept more than once a year;
  • not only does this help prevent chimney fires but also avoids the potential build-up of toxic carbon monoxide fumes;
  • if there is a gas fire in the fireplace, also check to see that this is working efficiently – preferably by having it serviced by a registered Gas Safe engineer;
  • in any event, make sure to clean away any dust or other debris that is likely to have built up during the year by giving it a thorough vacuuming or using compressed air from a canister.

Protect your home against the cold this winter and you may end up saving yourself a significant amount of money by avoiding frozen and burst pipes, reducing the cost of your energy bills and keeping both you and your home warm and snug.

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