Fire or Flood in Your Home — the Perfect End to 2020

This year has been one most of us will want to forget, and we’re all hoping it doesn’t have an extra sting in its tail. And that doesn’t have to mean anything on the global stage. If you don’t prepare your home for winter, you could spend Christmas facing a hefty bill, or even in temporary accommodation.

Obviously, you don’t want any disaster happening to your home, but it could be worse. If you have to make an insurance claim, the insurer will want to know whether you’ve taken reasonable steps to prevent damage. If the loss adjuster decides you’ve been negligent, your pay-out could be reduced or even refused completely.

So what do you need to do? Well, the most important tasks on the outside is to check and clean your guttering and to rod your downpipes. This will get rid of any leaves, dirt or other rubbish that might block them and make the water spill, or even crack the fixtures. This could result in water getting into the walls or foundations, weakening the building’s structure.

While you’re looking at the guttering, it’s also worth checking the roof for any damage. Cracked or missing tiles could let the rain into your roof space, as could damaged flashing around chimney stacks.

What Do You Need to Check Inside?

The roof isn’t the only part of your home that needs to be made winter ready. The most important thing indoors is to bleed your radiators, if they operate by circulating hot water. While they’ve been off during the summer, air pockets may have built up inside.

The most immediate problem is that this will decrease the efficiency of your heating, but it might also lead to a burst radiator, which could flood your home. If the loss adjuster finds that the radiator in question hasn’t been bled, you could lose some or all of your insurance claim.

If you have an open fire, on the other hand, it’s important to get the chimney swept early in the autumn. A chimney that’s blocked by debris or birds’ nests can make the smoke blow back into the room, but it can also catch fire, especially if there’s a thick layer of soot lining the chimney.

Getting your chimney swept can prevent you finding yourself with a burnt-out home in the middle of winter — no wonder it’s good luck to shake hands with a chimney sweep. And, along with bleeding your radiators and clearing your guttering, it means that, if something does happen, Allied Claims will be able to pursue your claim with confidence.