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Winter care tips for the home

home insuranceWith winter comes all manner of different potential hazards to the home. We’ve put together a checklist of what you should take care of.

The British winter seems to be getting colder and frostier with each passing year, and with the inclement weather come a number of hazards to look for in and around the home. From frozen pipes to faulty boilers, as well as making sure you have the right home insurance, here’s a round-up of what you need to know to keep your home safe this winter.

Frozen and burst pipes

Burst pipes are a common problem over the winter period – usually caused when they thaw rapidly after freezing up. If this does happen, it can create a nasty escape of water, often from attics or lofts, which can eventually lead to flooding and serious damage.

But preparing yourself against this kind of damage isn’t difficult. If you’re going away during a cold period, for example, one simple step is leaving the central heating on at a low heat but turning off the stop cock.

Follow the link for more tips on preventing pipe damage in your home.

Boiler cover

Many of us will vouch that your boiler is probably most likely to break down when you need it most. With the cold weather creeping up on us, it certainly pays to make sure you’re covered should anything go wrong.

Check your home insurance policy – often boiler and heating breakdown is already included. If not, it may be worth considering standalone boiler cover to avoid a big repair bill and to ensure you aren’t left in the cold longer than you need to be. Npower, for example, currently offer specialist boiler cover and central heating care that could be a huge help if your appliances aren’t already insured.

And to make sure you don’t have any trouble in the first place, take a look at our guide to choosing the right boiler.

Carbon monoxide

One other big danger to consider is the silent killer, carbon monoxide (CO). If your boiler or heaters are poorly maintained you may find yourself susceptible to CO, which, with no colour, taste or smell is extremely difficult to detect.

However, there are ways to check for signs of CO poisoning before it’s too late. For more on this, see our guide to checking for carbon monoxide warning signs.

Snow damage to guttering

A buildings insurance policy will cover you for snow damage to your guttering, provided that the damage was caused by a single event. So, if you get particularly heavy snowfall, and it’s over just one period of time, then it’s viewed as a one-off unforeseen event, and you should be covered.  Read more about snow damage to guttering.

Further reading

Looking for more home care information? We offer some top tips to avoid a nasty bill on top of any unwelcome emergencies this winter, as we explain why a lack of maintenance can leave your home uninsured.




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Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones was a reporter for Confused.com between 2009 and 2010, writing personal finance news and blogs. He has since moved on to MSN Money but continues to write for Confused.com.

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