Holiday homes are especially vulnerable to bad weather conditions and frost damage during winter, as they are usually empty during this period. Here are some home maintenance tips that will help you to reduce the risk of damages during the winter.
1. Storm Damage
Storms may cause significant damage to your property so that’s why you have to consider on following points:
- The roof tiles and slates have to be checked are secure so you will not get water damage in the roof space;
- Check all your outbuildings and ensure that they are weather tight;
- Fix your satellite securely;
- Take extra care on the garden. Keep trees trimmed and remove dead or damaged branches;
- Fasten gates and window shutters in order to avoid damage;
2. Burst Pipes and Water Damage
During temperatures drop, pipes may freeze and burst. The damage from burst pipes can be huge, particularly if the burst happens when your house is not occupied.
- Do not switch off the central heating completely, as it one of the main causes of frozen pipes. Leave the heating on a low temperature in order to minimize potential danger;
- Ensure that pipes are well lagged and insulated. Ensure that water tanks get insulation as well;
- Do not let any water in the system, because it can cause damage. Call a plumber to drain down the water and central heating system in order to remove even minimal risk.
- Ensure where electricity and gas supplies can be turned off;
3. Blocked Gutters and Drains
Make regular cleaning of gutters and drains from leaves and dirt, as blocked gutters can cause overflow and damp problems.
4. Slip or Trip Accidents
You may let your holiday home in winter as well in this case there might be a danger of icy and slippery roads. In order to prevent it, keep paths well lit, clean and make sure that you have a good supply of salt and grit.
5. Thefts and Burglaries
Most of burglaries are trying to enter a holiday home when it is empty. Well secured entry points will protect your holiday home from burglars:
- Fit locks all external doors and all downstairs or easily accessible windows. You may consider on installation of iron grilles on windows, or roll-down, reinforced metal shutters.
- Do not leave your keys in locks or in obvious places, like a plant pot or under the doormat. Consider on a safe place, if you have to leave keys for guests.
- When you take possession of a new-build property change all the locks so that nobody else has keys;
- Lock all of the outbuildings with proper security locks, where you store all your garden furniture, tools and ladders. Do not let any of these items outside, so they cannot be used to break into your house;
- Ask neighbors you trust to check your the property from time to time and reward them for their care;
-Find trustful insurer and double-check their policy terms, as some of them do not include theft and damages if insured property was not occupied for long periods;
6. Electricity Surges and Power Failures
Country houses suffer more often from electricity failure due to storms, which might leave your house frozen if your electric storage heaters fail. In order to prevent such damage from power surges or electrical storms unplug electrical devices when you are not home or buy surge protectors.
7. Fire Risks and Chimneys
Fire Risks that caused by wiring faults is a common problem. If you want to resolve it ask a qualified electrician to check your wiring.
Ensure that your chimney top is covered in a proper way in order to avoid rainwater damp problems. You should make a check up of your chimney every year to avoid chimney fires.
It is a great idea to fit smoke alarms on each floor, though ensure they can be heard throughout the property.
Correct planning will help you to avoid risks of damages this winter.
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