With storm Barra devastating many parts of the UK this week, Trade Direct has some simple steps to help your customers safeguard their homes against extreme winter weather.
Winterproof your heating
During the colder months, it’s a good idea to check whether your radiators need bleeding and dust off the vents/filters.
A faulty boiler won’t just leave you cold this winter, it’s a safety issue that can cause a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. Ensure you have an annual service from a qualified Gas Safe Registered Engineer, to preserve the life of your boiler and prevent unnecessary repairs. A Which? 2021 boiler reliability survey shows only around three in ten boilers that have been serviced annually, needed a repair in their first six years. This doubles to around six in ten boilers if the boiler is only serviced every two to five years. At an average cost of £86 for a one-off service, a service is a cheaper way to keep warm this winter.
The winter weather can also cause damage to your chimney, so getting in a professional chimney sweep is essential. From time to time it's also worth an external check over by a tradesman.
Protect heating pipes
When the cold weather sets in, the water in your pipes may freeze causing them to burst.
Insulating (or lagging) your pipes will reduce loss of heating and prevent bursting caused by freezing. Burst pipes often lead to expensive repair bills and may force you to move out while repairs are undertaken.
Many of us will spend time away from the home visiting family and friends over Christmas, so it is important to remember to keep the heating on at a low level (above 4°C) while you’re away to prevent unnecessary damage to your pipes.
What to do in a power cut
Electricity network operators introduced the 105 number to put you through to the local experts who can help during a power cut. You can also find the details for all the electricity operator companies on the Energy Networks Association postcode lookup tool. For gas emergencies, dial 0800 111999.
Prepare a power cut kit of torches, candles, matches, blankets, a battery-operated radio, and maybe some board games for entertainment!
Get your roof and guttering checked
Roof slates or tiles can become loose throughout the year. This can lead to leaks so it's best to get your roof inspected by a professional. Clear any rubbish/leaves from your gutters to prevent the stress and cost of replacing collapsed gutters.
Prepare your garden
Storms are the biggest risks to gardens, so clear outdoor space of anything that could be swept away by the wind, including garden furniture, greenhouses, plant pots, and wheelie bins.
Secure your shed. The darker evenings increase the opportunity for theft, especially if you have expensive items on display (such as power tools or lawnmowers).
Check your outdoor lights
The shorter winter days make simple outdoor tasks such as taking out the bins in darker, icy conditions a bit more hazardous, so consider hiring an electrician to ensure you have a safe, well-lit route around the outside of your home.
Brush up on your home security
UK crime rates tend to increase during the winter, so check your doors, fences, and gates are all working and secure. You could also consider whether you need any additional home security.
Make sure your home is insured
Home insurers cover a broad range of winter-related issues such as damage caused by water, fire, and flood.