Home Maintenance Checklist – Are you Winter-ready?

Aviva has urged homeowners to get prepared with a winter-ready checklist with seventy percent of homeowners admit to ignoring property problems because they’d rather spend their time and money on other things!

The recent study of 2,000 homeowners shows property maintenance is way down many people’s priority lists. Aviva found:

•More than a quarter of homeowners (27%) ignore minor faults around the home until they become bigger problems that need to be addressed.
•A fifth (19%) turn a blind eye so they can spend their money elsewhere.
•Almost a quarter (23%) say they don’t have the time to deal with minor home maintenance issues.

The research was carried out to highlight the importance of home maintenance and help homeowners to ensure their properties are ready for winter. Aviva has the following guidance for homeowners:

•Check your roof for missing or damaged tiles or slates and replace where necessary. Water damage can spread far and wide, so it’s important to prevent rain getting in.
•Call out a chimney sweep. Unswept chimneys pose a greater fire risk, so as the weather gets colder, sweep before you light your fire or stove.
•Clear out gutters and drains, removing any leaves, dirt and debris, so water can drain freely.
•Secure any wobbly fences and broken gates to ensure they will withstand wind and stormy weather.
•Get your boiler serviced by a professional. It’s also a great time to think about boiler cover in case of any break-downs.
•Insulate on top of pipes: one of the main causes of freezing pipes is a lack of lagging. Insulation should be laid on top of pipes rather than underneath them, as insulation laid below the pipes will prevent rising heat reaching them. Wrap up water tanks and cisterns in insulating jackets.
•Insulate your loft. When temperatures fall, this will help to prevent heat escaping from the top of your home.
•Check your doors and windows and replace any damaged seals to prevent the wind whistling through.
•Consider leaving the heating on: if you are going away for a few days or weeks, consider leaving the heating on at a constant low level, so water in pipes will remain at a constant temperature and should not get cold enough to freeze.
•Check the taps: repair any dripping taps and don’t forget to insulate outside taps in your garden or garage (or turn off the water supply to them altogether).

It wasn’t all bad news as the vast majority of homeowners (92%) hold some savings which could be used on their properties in the event of an emergency. However, when it comes to meeting the bill for replacing/repairing home essentials due to wear and tear – such as roof repairs or new windows a number of respondents said they would claim on their home insurance to cover such a bill, indicating confusion amongst some homeowners. While home insurance is designed to cover unexpected events, damage caused through wear and tear is generally excluded.

Aviva are one of the panel of insurers from which P F Spare Insurance Brokers offer quotations so please contact us for a free, no obligation review of your insurance arrangements.