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Homes: Why you can't claim if you don't maintain

A little winter home maintenance can go a long way when it comes to making a weather-related home claim.

Why? Because your home insurance company can refuse to pay out if it feels you haven’t maintained your home to a sufficient standard.

With winter already making itself felt, now is the time to have a look around the exterior of your property and make sure it’s in good shape ahead of the worst weather.

Chris Rainbow, a surveyor at Merlin Surveying Services, spoke to about the most important home maintenance areas. Watch our home maintenance video guide below.

What do you need to maintain?

  • Check your roof on a regular basis to look out for any slipped or missing tiles, loose or cracked flashings or worn concrete.
  • Guttering can be a major cause of leaks. Discolouration behind the downpipe can suggest a blockage. Wait until it is raining and have a look and you should be able to see if it is blocked.
  • If you have trees near your home, there’s a chance leaves may fall into your guttering and cause blockages. Cut back any large branches, especially dead ones, which overhang your home or outbuildings.
  • Make sure the shoe at the bottom of any drainpipe is facing away from your property.
  • Check the lead flashings around your chimney. If any are missing water could get in. If this leads to damage, your insurer could say that you had failed to maintain the house and turn down your claim.
  • Make sure there is no misalignment of drains resulting in water running down the side of your house.

Check inside your home aswell

Electrical faults can cause fire, so it's important to maintain all wiring within your home.

Also, make sure you get your boiler serviced annually to reduce the likelihood of a breakdown. It could prove costly if you need to replace a broken boiler this winter.

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