Probably not long now before the wind is howling round the eaves of your home, the rain is lashing down, and falls of sleet and snow are forecast.
On that happy note and with the full onslaught of a UK winter just around the corner, have you been getting your property ready for Autumn?
It’s certainly worth taking every precaution possible, since whatever type of property insurance you have – as an owner occupier or the landlord of buy to let property – one of the basic conditions of the policy is that you maintain your property in a good state of repair. And that means a state of repair designed to withstand the conditions any normal winter is likely to bring:
Check the roof
- it is the roof of the property that is likely to take the most severe battering, so check now for any loose slates or tiles and inspect the flashing where the roof meets brickwork;
- check now whether any dead branches need to be cut down from old trees;
Clear the gutters
- a great deal of long-term damage may be caused by blocked drains and rainwater goods, so make sure to clear dead leaves and other debris from all gutters;
- this may prevent rain water from backing up and spilling over into the roof space and into the walls of the building;
- make sure that the pipes and water tank in the roof space are properly lagged and that the lagging is intact;
- not only does this help prevent them freezing – and bursting once the thaw sets in – but also provides insulation for the hot water system, so saving you money on the heating bill;
- remember the ease with which garden furniture might take to the air in high winds, comes a reminder from the Met Office;
- dismantle or put into store items which can be moved – and firmly strap down items which are too bulky to move;
- the Met Office recalls pictures that are seen during most winters of airborne trampolines – left in pieces that themselves become veritable projectiles in a storm force wind.
Home emergency insurance
Autumn is also time of year when many your property is likely to experience domestic emergencies of one kind or another, despite having done your due diligence – a failure of the central heating system, for example, disruption to the water supply following leaks to the plumbing system, or damage to the roof of the property.
That means you might have to join a long waiting list before your local tradesman is able to attend to your particular emergency.
So that you shoot to the head of the queue and get the attention you need straight away – when essential repairs are needed either to your own home or one which you let to tenants – now is the time to give serious thought to the benefits of home emergency cover (or landlords home emergency cover).
It does just what it says – ensures that an authorised service agent or contractor visits your home at short notice, to make it safe and protected against further damage.