Friday, 28 November 2008

You need insurance cover for whatever the weather

Adequate Buildings insurance Keep your home / investment protected

Whatever the time of year your property can be exposed to "weather" conditions. Most people immediately think of the winter when a property can freeze up, however remember storms and flooding can occur throughout the year. Listed below are some helpful tips on how to protect your property against bad weather conditions.

All Year - Safeguard against flooding:

Gutters: If your gutters are not clean and full of leaves and water can't drain away in the downpipes- clean them out and do this annually so that water does not penetrate under the eaves and rot timber.

Drains: Are your drains working properly. If they are not and there is heavy rainfall you can avoid flash flooding if they clear. Check them annually.

If you live in area that could have flooding make sure you are prepared with: Sandbags to block doors. Torches and spare batteries - Keep a radio that can be used on battery power so you can listen to information broadcasts. Keep your mobile phone is charged up. If you have to vacate your home - lock valuables away (upstairs). Move any essentials upstairs. Switch off electrical power supply to avoid electric shocks. Make sure you have some can of food and a small butane gas cooker. Ensure that you have plenty of candles.

All Year - Safeguard against storms

Roofs - Slates/tiles: Make sure that roofs and checked regularly. You can often spot a slipped tile or slate from looking at the property from outside and worn gulleys will not hold a lot of water. If there has just been a heavy storm this is when the damage can occur.

Trees: A decayed or partly decayed tree that is rotting can be hazardous (although in a violent storm any tree whatever its condition is vulnerable) so check that branches are trimmed and checked for rot and do not pose a danger to properties or overhead electrical lines.

Storm Warning: Are you prepared? Make sure you - Secure all doors, gates and windows.
If that garden fence that was not too secure has not been repaired - repair it.
Put away unsecured items in the garden.

Keep pets indoors.

Check that torches and batteries are working and that your mobile telephone is charged up.
When using candles - oil lamps / gas lights take great care.

Winter - Safeguard against the cold

Some years the colder weather comes earlier, some years later and some years can be much colder than others. Regardless you should ensure that your property is properly prepared.

Taps: Do they drip - If you need washers changed get these done. Apart from water now becoming a precious commodity, many properties are on meter so you pay for all the wastage.

These drips can freeze when the weather turns bad.

Pipes: Are the water pipes in your attic (and any other "exposed" areas properly lagged? If not get these attended to.If you have water tanks in the attic these must be well insulated.

Roofspace /Attics: Is this insulated. Apart from wasting a lot of money on energy "escaping through the roof and not effectively heating the house" insulation will help prevent the house from freezing. Make sure that you have an electric light in the attic for ease of checking pipes and tanks.

Mains water stop cock valve /tap: Make sure you know where this is located and any sub stop cocks.These are often located in the hall or kitchen (under the sink). If you have an outside tap they often have a sub stop cock tap inside and it is worthwhile to turn this off during the winter when the outside supply is not being used. Ensure that the stop cock valves work properly.If they do not get them repaired.

Heating: If it is really cold set the heating to come on for a while during the night or even keep it on low during the night. When the property is unoccupied leave this on at regular intervals.It might seem a waste of money, but it is a lot better than coming home to a frozen house!

If you are going away, alternatively you can turn everything off. Do not think that by turning off the main stop cock will help. In many properties there are radiators (filled with water that can freeze), pipes leading to them and of course hot and cold water tanks. These all need to be emptied and "drained down" and this can be quite a lengthly job that requires a plumber. If you do this yourself make sure that all electric tank are switched off and central heating boilers.

More information on insurance for properties at

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