Autumn is a great time to start thinking about the best ways to protect and maintain your home ahead of the upcoming winter season. The weather is just beginning to change, the nights are growing darker, and many of us have, by now, switched the central heating back on. Winter coats are certainly making an appearance, and the summer is a distant memory. A few home maintenance tips certainly won't go amiss with unpredictable weather and unexpected home disasters often lurking around the corner.
Preparing your home during the autumn may sound like something only residents in the coldest countries need to do but come the cold winter months you'll be glad you put the extra effort in. Repairs and replacements on kitchen appliances, plumbing and boilers can be expensive and time consuming, with plumbers and engineers often becoming over-booked. This can mean it's not always easy to get one when something goes wrong.
The YourRepair home plan has been designed to cover you against this eventuality. If you're caught unawares by boiler breakdowns, burst pipes, or kitchen appliance breakdowns, our plans can get you back up and running with minimal disruption. By purchasing a plan and by following these simple home maintenance tips, you can make sure your home and family are covered against any breakdown blunders this winter.
Essential Home Maintenance Tips To Protect Against Cold Weather
Cold weather is one of the biggest concerns over the winter. The prospect of freezing pipes, and concerns that your home is sealed and secure when the temperature drops are both important considerations for homeowners. To make sure your home is well protected and your winter running costs are kept as low as possible, it's worth dedicating some time to carrying out the following over the next few weeks:
- Check the seals around your windows and doors. You can do this by simply running your finger around the seals, or you can use a tool such as a screwdriver to get in behind and check for hidden gaps. If you find any gaps or holes, fill them with caulk. If needed, get a professional in to repair or replace any more difficult or significant issues. The seals around your windows and doors can make all the difference to the temperature of your home, and can, therefore, help you save money on your winter heating bills. Don't forget to check around vents and places where exterior pipes enter the house which could be causing drafts.
- Frozen pipes can cause all sorts of problems, including flooding, so make sure you cut off any exterior water pipes by switching off the valves, emptying them of water beforehand. It is also a good idea to wrap any water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape in order to prevent them from freezing. This again will help you save money and energy on water heating bills by reducing the amount of heat that can escape the pipes.
- As an additional tip, if you are leaving your home for an extended period during the winter months, set your heating to come on for a short time every day. This will help to ensure that the pipes are kept warm and no water is left to sit and freeze.
- Possibly one of the most important home maintenance tips to protect from cold weather is to get your boiler serviced and inspected. It is always best to make sure everything is in proper working order before any bad weather hits. Another excellent way of protecting your home from unforeseen boiler breakdowns is by taking out a YourRepair Boiler Cover and Home Care Plan which covers everything from your boiler to your drains, toilets and electrics.
- One last cold weather tip is to check your roof. This probably isn't something you think to do very often, but winter storms can really take their toll on even the smallest faults. Look our for buckled or cracked shingles, and check if any are missing. Any damage to your shingles should be dealt with quickly by a professional. It is not advisable to attempt repairs to your roof unless you are trained and have the correct safety equipment to hand.
Expecting the Unexpected
Being prepared for all possibilities can make your life considerably easier when things do go wrong. To make sure you are as prepared as you can be, your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be checked and the batteries replaced. This is particularly important if you have a gas fired boiler.
Accidental fires must also be prepared for, so replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and make a check of any fire extinguishers you have. It is also advisable to invest in other fire safety equipment such as a fire blanket, to be kept in your kitchen where the worst hazards tend to be.
Preventing the Unexpected
By following these easy home maintenance tips, you'll be well on your way to keeping your home warm this winter. You can also prepare for the winter by carrying out routine checks of all your kitchen appliances, particularly your oven, washing machine and dryer, which are the biggest causes of accidental home fires. Check your kitchen and appliances for any damaged or loose wires and see that they are repaired immediately by a professional. Attempting to mend electrical issues without the proper training can be equally as hazardous and result in further damage or injury.
YourRepair Home Plan offers cover for all major appliances within your home, including many kitchen appliances and boilers. Our boiler cover includes an annual boiler service, unlimited electrical repairs and free replacements on boilers and home appliances under seven years old that we are unable to repair. We have a variety of plans to suit any budget, starting from as little as £2.35 per month, so it's well worth browsing our plans to see what suits you.
With unlimited claims and call outs, and no hidden extra costs, our home care cover plans have been rated 5* by 97% of customers.
For more information, call us on 0330 223 4422. Our trained advisors can discuss your cover requirements to determine the best home care plan for you. Contact us today so we can help you stay prepared this winter.