As the colder weather creeps in, the risk of damage to your property due to freezing is heightened. This kind of damage can be even more stressful over Christmas, as getting out tradesmen over the holidays can be nearly impossible, resulting in what could turn out be an expensive, Christmas nightmare!
Remember, if you’re a tenant, it’s your responsibility to take reasonable precaution to prevent damage as per your tenancy agreement.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to avoid damage to your property this winter, whether you’re a homeowner, landlord or tenant:
- If you’re going on holiday and leaving your property over Christmas- even if only for a few days- leave the heating on a low setting (the ‘frost’ setting is marked with a little snowflake ❄) or set with a timer for at least an hour a day. This will help to keep the temperature in the house above freezing, and prevent water expanding as it freezes and potentially bursting a pipe.
- If it is very cold, consider opening your loft trap door. This allows warm air from other parts of the house to circulate in the loft and will help prevent pipes freezing.
- Where, possible try and insulate external pipes and the loft area- especially if you have a header tank- so that they aren't susceptible to frost damage.
- Ask a friend or relative to visit your home every day while you are away. This will mean that if you do suffer a burst pipe, it will be detected as soon as possible, and the damage caused will be minimised.
- Should an incident happen that causes damage to your home or its contents, contact your insurer as soon as possible. Your Move’s Home Emergency cover has 24/7 access to approved tradesmen for emergency repairs with no excess. Find out more on Your Move's insurance options here >
- If the top of your radiator is cold but the bottom is warm there is too much air trapped in the system and you will need to bleed your radiator. Bleeding the radiator releases the air and allows hot water to fill the whole system. Find out more here >
- If the top of your radiator is cold but the bottom is warm there is too much air trapped in the system and you will need to bleed your radiator. Bleeding the radiator releases the air and allows hot water to fill the whole system. Find out more.
- Make sure the service on your boiler is up to date, if you are not sure, then arrange for a service to be carried out before anything goes wrong.
- Tidy the garden, cutting back trees, and if you have any plants climbing the outside of your home, remove these as they act like a sponge and become heavy in wet weather, which could ultimately damage paintwork, bricks, pointing and render. Cardboard and/or straw can be used to protect plants and shrubs.
- Check roof tiles and guttering to prevent water damage.
- Keeping your property ventilated will help to avoid condensation and ultimately mould. Be sure to ventilate the property using air vents, extractor fans and an open window when possible. Be particularly vigilant in kitchens and bathrooms as they have extra moisture from cooking and the shower.