How to prepare your home for the winter weather

After a sunny summer the prospect of dark evenings, colder temperatures and wet weather may seem pleasantly remote, but as a homeowner this is the time to be thinking about ensuring your property is ready to face the winter. So what steps should you be taking to make sure it is in the best shape it can be?

Time for your home MOT

Do you carry out regular inspections on your property? The purpose of a property inspection is to check on its overall condition and ensure that everything is in good working order and a good state of repair. Carrying out a quarterly inspection to coincide with the changing of the seasons is an excellent opportunity to identify any potential issues before they become a problem. Think of it as a MOT for your home.

Maximise ventilation and minimise mould

Are you keeping windows clean and free of moisture? Good ventilation is essential for preventing the build-up of mould but in colder weather it’s easy to forget to open a window or make sure an air vent is open. An early autumn check is a good time to check the pipe work, especially those that are less visible, such as pipes hidden away in kitchen and bathroom units. It’s also worth taking the time to test any extractor fans to make sure they are working and not clogged up with dirt.

Fire and fumes

Avoiding potential fire hazards is important at any time of year, but as the colder weather sets in the risks increase as does the use of electric or gas heaters. You’ve probably stored them out of sight in the summer months, but make sure you check them before using again. You should also ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in full working order.

Exterior maintenance

By keeping the structure and exterior of your property in good repair you can save valuable time and money in the long run. Make sure you look at drains, external pipes and particularly gutters, which can quickly become blocked at this time of year due to falling leaves and seasonal rainfall.

Green, green garden

If your property has a garden, consider when you last did some maintenance to it. Now is a good time to check that everything is neat and tidy ready for the change in weather. Remember to keep rubbish in the bins and keep the surrounding area free of reuse to avoid attracting vermin or creating a safety hazard.

Make sure your home is adequately protected

As a homeowner, one of the most important things you can do to protect your property at any time of the year is to make sure that you have the right home cover in place.

Completing regular inspections and keeping your property in good shape will help to prevent general wear and tear. In the event of a weather-related claim, if it is felt that the homeowner hasn’t maintained their home to a sufficient standard, the claim could be refused.

In the event that you do need to make a claim, you should report it as soon as possible and you should check with your cover provider before arranging any repair work.

Whether you are buying your first home, or looking to insure your current property, you need to be sure you are covered. The Retail Mutual specialises in providing cover for homeowners who have a connection to the retail sector. For a free, no-obligation quote or to find out more about how we can help to protect your residential rental properties, call 0333 2121 280 or start your quote online now.