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Winter home checks to do now

Sharp frosts and heavy rain, which are so common in the winter months, have the potential to damage your house. It's important we do everything we can to prepare for the cold, wet and windy months. Here are some checks that will help you winter-proof your property.

Boiler.

Gutters

The falling leaves of autumn can clog up your gutters, so check and clear them out if necessary. While you're up there, make sure all the pipes are able to carry water away from your home – this will stop water leaks causing damp and damage to the building.

Roofs

When you're up the ladder checking the gutters, inspect the roof. Now's the time to replace damaged or missing tiles, so water doesn't leak into the loft. Pay particular attention to ridges, verges and hips of the roof, as these are the most vulnerable areas and most likely to have missing or damaged tiles.

Pipes, taps and hoses

Another external check – make sure all of your pipes, taps and hoses are drained and switched off. Pipes should be insulated as this will stop them from freezing and cracking or bursting.

Draughts

There are many places within a home where heat can escape, and cold air can come in. The usual suspects are around doors, window frames and letterboxes. Draught excluders are cheap to buy and will do a great job of making sure heat stays inside your home this winter.

Radiators

Radiators feel cold at the top but hot at the bottom? This is a tell-tale sign they need a good bleed. If you're a little daunted by the task, follow this video from British Gas – it means your radiators will be more effective in producing heat, helping to keep you and your family nice and toasty this winter.

Stopcock

If you don't know where your mains stopcock is located, make this a priority – most are found under the sink. If a pipe bursts in the house, being able to quickly locate and turn off the stopcock will limit damage as much as possible.

Boiler

It's a good idea to get your boiler serviced annually and ideally, before the height of winter. This will help to limit the chance of it failing when you need it most. You should heat your home for at least an hour each day during winter to keep everything ticking along.

Loft insulation

You might have loft insulation, but is it thick enough? Seeing as a huge amount of a home's heat is lost through the roof, making sure you've got a nice, thick layer of insulation laid down in the loft will boost your home's energy efficiency. That means lower bills as well as a warmer home!

Fireplace

If you're planning to cosy up by a crackling fire during those long winter nights, you should have it checked and cleared by a National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) registered sweep.

Insurance

Flooding, storm damage and theft around the festive period are additional risks we're faced with over the winter, which is why taking out a quality home insurance policy is a must. Get a competitive quote with Hastings Direct today

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A seagull standing on some railings.