There’s little more the British love to chat about than the weather! Whether it’s raining cats and dogs or an absolute scorcher, the weather has a direct impact on our daily lives. As winter draws in it’s time to take a serious look at what’s going on outside before it causes any damage to your home or investment properties.
If you own property you need to consider the time of year, weather, flood warnings, location all have an impact on the maintenance of your property and investments. Forward-thinking, planning, and safeguarding are the best ways to ensure your property is kept safe.
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During periods of heavy rain, clients risk suffering loss or damage caused by ingress of water to their properties. A common cause of ingress of water is blocked drains and gutters. It is important clients manage and maintain their drains and gutters to prevent issues, especially during autumn when the leaves are falling from the trees. Look at securing roof tiles, check the state of any chimney stacks and any external buildings as well as the main house.
It is also worth considering insulating pipes and loft water storage tanks. Regularly check all the taps in your home during the winter months. If little or no water flows, there may be frozen water in the pipes.
If you are away from home in the winter, set the central heating to come on for a short period each day to prevent pipes from freezing. Also, ask someone to check your home if you’re away for a while. This should help make sure leaking or burst pipes are spotted early and damage is kept to a minimum.
Whilst it is safe to do so before the storm arrives, secure as best you can, loose items that you have outside. Close and secure external doors and windows, as well as gates, fences, shed doors, etc.
Listen to local radio or search the internet for the latest information and updates on the situation in your area.
Put away garden furniture and any other items kept outside that might get blown around and cause damage.
Be ready to turn off essential supplies – gas, electricity, and water – at the mains, so make sure you know how to do this. If you have tenants in your property make sure you go through a winter storm plan with them
If you live in an area susceptible to flooding, you may want to consider the following:
Move property from lower floors to higher levels but do not risk hurting yourself.
Have sandbags ready to block doors. Some councils provide these for ‘at risk’ homes or they can normally be obtained from building supplies retailers.
Prepare an emergency pack to include a torch, first aid kit, warm clothes, blankets, and water and make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
Make sure your insurance documents and any other important contact details are in a safe dry place. Consider using a property management software rather than risk accounting documents to become lost or damaged.
Subscribe to the Floodline direct warnings service provided by Environment Agency (EA) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). You can sign up to receive free advance flood warning messages direct to your landline or mobile phone, which will alert you when a flood warning message has been issued for your local area.
If you have tenants in your property make sure you inform them of your flood prevention plan.
If your property has been affected, contact your insurer as soon as possible. Taking photographs of the damaged items is helpful and can help to settle claims quickly.
If you would like to speak to one of our brokers about bespoke solutions for your property this winter get in touch with us at Eggar Forrester Insurance.