4 home checks to do before the clocks go back

4 home checks to do before the clocks go back

The clock change on Sunday, October 30 is fast approaching, marking the end of British Summer Time and the beginning of dark evenings and the likelihood of colder weather setting in. With this in mind, now is a good time to do some checks on your home for winter, suggests Age UK Home Insurance.

Maintain so you can claim

Home maintenance is a requirement of most home insurance policies for any claims against weather damage to be valid. Taking this into consideration, homeowners are encouraged to use the last few weeks of fairer weather to check that the exterior and interior of their homes are "winter-proof". It’s worth making a checklist of DIY jobs and if necessary booking a tradesperson to tackle the more complicated jobs sooner rather than later, when emergency call outs may be more expensive.

Doing maintenance now could save money in the months ahead

Jobs such as checking pipes, windows, roofs and gutters, as well as getting the boiler serviced are worth getting done around this time of year to ensure your home is prepared for winter weather. Carrying out essential home maintenance early could save you time and money in the months ahead.

Check you're covered

It's also worth digging out your home insurance policy terms and conditions and checking you are covered for incidents such as storm damage and burst pipes in advance of winter. Use our tips on how to prevent a burst pipe and how to find your stopcock. Alongside checking your cover, Age UK Home Insurance offers the following top tips people may wish to consider when preparing their home for winter weather.

  1. Roof tiles – Get a recommended tradesperson to take a look at the roof to check all the tiles are properly secured and everything is sealed correctly. Trustatrader and RatedPeople are recommendation-based directories where you can do a postcode search to find a list of traders in your area.
  2. Guttering – Now is a good time to check that the guttering is clear. Ensure any leaves or obstructions that have the potential to cause a blockage when the weather gets worse are removed, and pay special attention to the ends of the guttering or any junctions. If you are unable to safely look at the guttering around the home you may wish to consider asking a friend or family member if they are able to help or get in touch with a recommended tradesperson.
  3. Boiler – If you haven't already had your boiler serviced this year now is a good time to do so, before the winter chill really sets in. It's important to get your boiler serviced regularly by a registered professional and while they are with you ask them to check that the radiators are all in good working order too. Use the Gas Safe Register to find a registered heating engineer.
  4. Insulation – To keep your home warm over the winter it's vital to have the appropriate insulation for the loft and cavity walls. Efficient double glazing can also help keep more heat in the home. It's worth speaking to your energy provider to ask if you might qualify for free energy-saving home improvements. Plus use our tips on how to manage your energy costs this winter.