Winter is here and many of us will be happy to spend a little more time at home. Now is the perfect time to get on to those little maintenance jobs around the house.
- Take a look around your garden. If it is safe to do so, prune any tree branches well clear of your home to prevent them falling onto it. Also make sure any loose items in your garden are well secured and wont blow around in a strong wind.
- Check the tiles and ridge capping on your roof for damage that could allow the rain in. Check all valleys and flashings for blockages and rust. Tin roofs should be checked anywhere that leaks could occur - seams, fasteners, ridge caps, ridge vents, flashings, valley gutters and skylights.
- Check your brickwork for any damage to the mortar that could allow moisture into your home and repoint if necessary
- If you happen to be at home during a downpour and it is safe to do so, climb up into the roof space to check for leaks around chimneys, vents and skylights. Also check the underside of ceilings for water stains.
- Inside the home, check your washing machine and dishwasher hoses for any damage or leaks and replace if needed. Also check the power cords on your appliances for any damage or fraying.
- If you have a wood heater or fireplace, make sure you get your chimney checked out by a professional for any issues or blockages before it comes back in to regular use again.
- If you are getting your heater out after a year in storage, make sure you clean it thoroughly before use - an accumulation of dust can create a fire risk and may ignite once the heater warms up.
- Similarly with your electric blanket, if it has been stored, make sure you check for any damage before use. Spread it flat on the bed and turn it on for a few minutes so you can check that it is heating evenly.
- Check the lint filter in your dryer and clean if full. This should ideally be done after every load.
- Check smoke alarms are operating correctly and replace the batteries if necessary.
- Use this time to make or update and inventory of your contents. You can even take pictures of each room to make it easier to identify damaged, lost or stolen items in the event of a claim. Taking a regular inventory will also protect you from the risk of underinsurance.
Finally, make sure you have adequate cover
in place for your home and contents should the worst happen.