Is your home ready for Autumn?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Carrying out a quick inspection of your property before autumn sets in won’t just prepare you for the worst of the British weather, it’ll help maximise the energy efficiency of your home. You might even catch a small problem before it gets worse, avoiding unnecessary claims on your home insurance over the coming months. Here are our top tips for preparing your home for the coming months.

Get up

Check your roof for loose, damaged, or missing shingles. If you see anything that worries you, call in the professionals. Gaps in the tiles can lead to leaks during rain storms, while loose tiles can fall off during high winds and cause damage to your garden. It’s worth getting your guttering checked for blockages, too.

Get down

Check for draughts coming from underneath your floorboards, behind your skirting boards, or from disused vents. Holding a lighted candle near potential trouble spots is a handy trick - if the tip flickers, it’s a sure sign that air is coming in. Gaps you find can be plugged with a silicone sealant, or you can fit draught excluders around your doors and windows.

Get insulated

Having proper cavity wall and attic insulation will keep your home warmer, and will also save you money on your energy bills. Check your loft insulation is at least 270mm thick, and replace it if needs be. While you’re in the attic, check the lagging on your pipes to make sure they’re protected from plummeting temperatures. If pipes or cisterns do freeze over, they’re liable to crack and burst. It’s good to know exactly where the stop taps for your water supply can be found in case you're in a hurry.

Get protected

The risk of a house fire is higher during the colder months as we use heating appliances more, so make sure your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in full working order. Give them a battery change and test them regularly. It’s also peak time for break-ins as the daylight hours dwindle, so don’t forget to check that your house alarm is up to the task.

Get cosy

Swap your light summer duvets and curtains for heavier winter versions. Thicker curtains serve to trap a layer of insulating warm air, and can reduce heat loss through windows by up to 40%. They also provide a great excuse to shake up your interior décor.

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Swiftcover and are both trading names of AXA Insurance UK plc, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority