Autumn proofing the home
Autumn is here, there’s a chill in the air and the days are getting shorter. As the hottest summer in over 40 years fades behind us, homeowners are given the perfect opportunity to protect their properties ahead of the colder weather – in the event of seasonal damage. We take a look at simple changes your customers can make to autumn-proof their homes – from fixing loose roof tiles to keeping windows firmly closed.
With much of our time spent outdoors and on holiday during the summer months, it’s easy to see why basic home maintenance often falls by the wayside. Yet by getting prepared ahead of the cooler months, the smallest adjustments could make a huge difference once autumn sets in. Home owners should always be cautious when undertaking DIY tasks they’re not familiar with however, as they could injure themselves or those around them. Always advise to seek professional help where required.
With autumn weather notoriously windy (not to mention the heavy rainfall), checking the roof for loose slates or tiles is crucial in protecting the home against the elements. As well as avoiding the risk of falling debris, de-clogging gutters of moss and algae can help prevent leaks.
Tip: Pouring a jug of water down the gutter can help establish whether it needs clearing.
Checking the loft insulation on a regular basis is essential for any household. Ahead of chillier climes, homeowners should check that their insulation is within the right dimensions and that taps and pipes are always fully lagged.
Tip: By leaving the loft hatch open, warm air can circulate easily to the pipes.
Windows and doors
To ensure windows are fully secure, check that window frames – particularly old ones – are firmly fixed with no gaps for water to seep in. For a draught-free home, ensure that doors are in good condition and have toughened glass – a sure-fire way to help home owners reduce their annual energy bills.
Tip: Draughtexcluders may be a low-cost solution to weather-proofing the home.
It may not be time to turn on the heating, but ensuring the boiler is in good working order could save homeowners some heartache later down the line. If it hasn’t been serviced in the last 12 months, a certified engineer can give them the peace of mind as the weather gets colder.
Tip: Ensure the space around the boiler is clutter-free to allow for proper ventilation.
As well as keeping the home sufficiently maintained against weather damage, it’s also important to consider the security of the property. To avoid any chance of theft in the home owner’s absence, friends or relatives could keep an eye on their property whilst on holiday, cancelling any milk or paper deliveries. Home owners can also make their property look as though someone is in by installing timing devices on interior lights at predetermined intervals. When out of the house on a daily basis, doors and windows should be kept locked at all times, with deadlocks installed on all external doors.
Find out more about our Home Insurance products