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Winter is on its way – are you ready for it?

Winter is on its way – are you ready for it?

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 20/10/2014
First Published: 20/10/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The temperatures are starting to drop, the wind is starting to blast and the clocks are set to go back this coming weekend. Winter is definitely on its way, but are you ready to face it? Well, according to Age UK Enterprise, now is the perfect time to start building up your winter defences to ensure that this winter is as warm and stress-free as possible. But what needs to be done?

Winter-proofing your home

Winter can cause chaos, so it's important to check your home from top to bottom, inside and out to make sure that it's fully winter-proofed. Not only will this ensure that you aren't left out in the cold, but it could also save you money and a lot of additional hassle in the future.

If you have any jobs that you can't handle yourself, find a good tradesman to sort the problem out for you. It's better to get these problems tackled sooner rather than later when winter has already settled in.

"Preparation is key to protecting your home and avoiding expensive and urgent call outs when the weather changes," commented Gordon Morris, managing director of Age UK Enterprises. "There are a number of essential checks homeowners could be doing to the exteriors and interiors of their homes while the fair weather remains, which could save them time and money in the long run."

The best jobs to tackle first include getting pipes, windows, roofs, gutters and boilers checked. These things are your first line of defence against the winter chill, so try to make them a priority. To help you identify any problems, we've broken down these key areas so that you can check that everything is working as it should be.

  • Roof tiles: It's easy to forget about the roof – out of sight often means out of mind. However, leaky roofs are no fun in the middle of a freezing downpour, so it pays to have the tiles checked. Hire a good tradesman to take a look at your roof and ensure that no tiles are missing and that everything is sealed as it should be.
  • Guttering: This is another area that is easy to miss, but the guttering should never be overlooked. If you can, run up the ladder and check that the guttering all around your house is clear and free of debris and blockages. Pay especial attention to the ends of the guttering or any junctions. If you don't fancy climbing a ladder yourself, ask friends or family or call a tradesperson to help you.
  • Boiler: The boiler is the heart of your house and it needs to be fully functioning during the winter months. An annual service will ensure that your boiler is in tip-top condition, and now is the perfect time to get it done. This way, if a problem is found, it can be sorted out before you need to crank up the heating.
  • Insulation: Insulating the loft and walls can make a real difference to your home. Double-glazing can also be a godsend, so if you haven't got any, or it needs replacing, it may well be worth splashing the cash. The Government and some energy companies run schemes that offer reduced or free home improvements to save energy, so why not do some investigating and see if you qualify?
  • Garden furniture: It's all too easy to abandon the garden furniture outside, but this could leave it wide open to damage from the winter weather. To keep your BBQ and other furniture in good condition, store them inside or in a shed or outhouse ready for next year.
  • Gas and electricity: Winter inevitably means higher gas and electricity bills, so why not prepare for the winter switch on by getting quotes from other suppliers? You may be able to find a cheaper deal, which will certainly take the chill out of your utility bills. You can use our handy comparison tool to get quotes now.

Home insurance

In the midst of all the pre-winter DIY, it's a good idea to take a look at your home insurance. Winter can cause a lot of damage, so you may be more likely to make a claim during the colder months.

Firstly, check that your insurance is up to date and that you are covered for the winter period. If your policy is due to expire soon, start shopping around. Renewing your old policy may not be very cost-effective, and you could get more comprehensive cover elsewhere. When searching for an insurer, check that you are covered for incidents such as storm damage and burst pipes – they could happen to anyone! You can start collecting home insurance quotes now by using our handy online comparison tool.

What next?

Get home insurance quotes

Find an energy deal that suits you

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.