Julie Hough

Julie Hough

Freelance Writer

The first Christmas in your new home should be a time for celebration. But with the excitement of the festive season, it’s easy to forget the harsh toll that winter weather can take on your house. Unfortunately, between dramatic drops in temperature and unexpected storms, the holiday season is synonymous with insurance claims for burst pipes and storm-damage alike. Luckily, there are plenty of practical ways you can protect your home, and minimise the risks of a harsh winter.

Allow warm air to circulate

According to Aviva, December 27th is the worst day of the year for burst-pipe claims. Fortunately, you can help prevent the water in your pipes from freezing by leaving the central heating on consistently, even at a low temperature. This is especially important if you plan to be away from home during the holidays. Be sure that your pipes are properly lagged to promote insulation. You can also help warm air to circulate in your home by leaving interior doors and loft doors open during a cold snap.

Check your garden for storm hazards

January is the worst month in Britain for storms, with the average claim coming in at £1,200 according to Aviva. Simple measures like trimming stray branches, mending loose fencing, and securing garden furniture can go a long way towards preventing a broken window or even damages to a neighbouring home.

Inspect your roof and chimney

In a new home, you can be confident that your tiles and chimney are just that, brand new. So the risk of losing any in storm weather is greatly reduced. However, it never hurts to check – especially if you’ve not long ago experienced stormy weather in your new home. Remember though, inspecting your roof and chimney is something to be done with caution and well in advance of adverse weather. Inspect your roof for loose tiles or damaged chimneys which could be at risk of falling during a gale, and make any necessary repairs. If you aren’t confident to carry out the repairs yourself, it’s definitely worth calling a professional to get the job done right. Whilst checking the rooftop, it’s also good to check that any aerials and satellites are securely fastened.

Keep an emergency kit at home

An unexpected blackout can be a nightmare if you’re not fully prepared. In the event of a sudden loss of power, it’s important to be stocked up on batteries, torches, matches, and candles. A portable phone charger can be very useful, even vital in the event of an emergency. For comfort’s sake, make sure you’re stocked up on blankets, dried food, and bottled water.

Stay up to date with your insurance

If you’re a new home-owner, it’s likely that you’ve made some personal touches to your house since your arrival. If so, be sure that your insurance is fully up-to-date, covering any recent purchases or changes to your home.

If you’re enjoying your first Christmas in your new home, you’re probably looking forward to a well-deserved rest with your loved ones. Before you enter relaxation-mode, be sure to carry out some checks to help protect your home in the event of harsh weather. If you’re not sure where to start, you can use Aviva’s handy interactive extreme weather checklist as a guide. With that little extra piece-of-mind, you’re bound to have the relaxing Christmas you deserve.

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