Keeping Your Home Safe During Winter Storms.
The early months of the year traditionally see some bad weather hitting northern areas, and already 2021 is no exception.
Storm Christoph has already ensured Leeds residents have had to batten down the hatches, with more storms and possibly snow expected before the first pages of spring are turned. Whilst we are still in winter’s grip, it is important for residents to consider how the weather may affect their homes.
It is even more pertinent when you consider that many Leeds residents are currently working from home as a result of the national UK lockdown. The home has become a place of work and leisure and it is important to ensure that it is fit for purpose, even with the incremental weather we have been experiencing. That is why we have put together a short guide to help you keep your home safe and secure through the storms, and into the warm sun of spring.
It is recommended that when cold weather hits, you keep the temperature of your home at 12 degrees, to prevent pipes freezing and cracking, which could lead to flooding. This might seem obvious, but if you live in a larger house and keep one or two rooms warm to save on energy bills, you could be leaving other parts of the home at risk. Maintain a steady temperature throughout the home during cold snaps, even in rooms you might not use often.
Drains and Gutters
It is vitally important that you ensure drains and gutters are clear of debris when a rainstorm hits. Large volumes of water will come down in a short space of time and if there are obstructions in either the drains or the gutter, you may be liable to flooding. It might simply be a gutter overflowing and causing a small escape of water, or a clogged drain overflowing and quickly causing significant damage. If you know a storm is coming, check these areas and remedy if you can. However, do not go up ladders in high winds as you may put yourself at risk.
Given the complexities of carrying out remedial work at the moment, it might be a good time to investigate cover for your essential services at home. If a pipe does begin to leak, or a drain does cause a severe problem, you may not be able to get emergency help due to the pandemic. That can be navigated by having some form of insurance cover for areas you see fit within the home. The insurance options listed on HomeServe, show how you can protect the essential services within your home, with plumbing being one aspect you may think about during winter storms, and drainage being another. You can also seek to protect your boiler, with policies often having 24-hour emergency call-out options and a service included, to further mitigate the risk of malfunction.
At a basic level, make sure when high winds hit everything outside of your home is secure. Garden furniture can be a problem during storms, not only can it disappear down the road, but winds may whip chairs and tables towards the house, with potential for causing lots of damage. The same goes for fence panels – they are often the first things to come down in high winds, so if you know there is a loose one on your property, seek to rectify the issue and secure it. If the storm that hits includes snow, try to clear it from the roof of sheds or summerhouses if you can – they often have the strength of a house roof but if they are in poor condition, they could buckle under the weight of the snow.