Weatherproof Your House

Take simple precautions to weatherproof your house - oh so easy.

This page should help ease your general fuel bill and you will probably keep much warmer and also avoid unnecessary insurance claims.

Remember, if you make a claim then your house insurance premium will almost certainly increase the following year.

Therefore it makes sense to keep weather damage to a minimum.

Winter is the time when, like the squirrels, we retreat to the security of our homes.

Before doing so there are some essential checks including making sure you weatherproof your house.

First of all make sure the squirrel has not built a nest in your loft. This is not uncommon in rural areas where 0wners have neglected to keep a watchful eye open.

Are you snug and warm?

With home emergencies, prevention is certainly better than the cure. Many insurance claims could be avoided if a small amount of time was spent preparing for any coming bad weather - weatherproof your house before it starts.

Some of these tips are quite elementary, but it is surprising how many sensible, intelligent folk don't realise the amount of damage bad weather can do.

This is quite easily forgotten in the rush of life today.

We also have another page is full of useful Easy DIY tips for you.

Weatherproof the Outside of Your House:

1. Check the condition of the roof. A pair of binoculars may come in handy here. Look for cracked or broken tiles, cracks in the chimney or problems with the pointing. If any repairs are needed, hire a professional and reputable roofing contractor to carry out the work as soon as possible.

Always get more than one estimate and avoid 'cowboys'. A personal recommedation is valuable here. This is a No.1 priority job that should not be neglected. Rain leaking through the roof onto plasterboards in the ceiling below is a most unwelcome sight. It pays to weatherproof your house in good time.

2. Clear the gutters and drain pipes of any leaves or debris that has built up. This reduces the risk of blockages to the downpipes and subsequent overflows. An easy tip that could save you very large bills.

Check for damage after any storm blows over. Snow and freezing temperatures can cause damage to plastic guttering. Plastic gutters and downpipes can shrink out of their joints. Check that adjoining sections of pipe/gutter have not sprung apart. Also make sure the heavy winds have not blown additional debris into the gutter.

3. Cut back low hanging tree branches that could cause damage in high winds or storms. Weatherproof your house by good instinct and foresight.

4. Check boundary fences and posts, also any brickwork that is showing signs of age.

5. Make sure you park your car either in a garage or away from large trees. If one should fall on your house you will be more than sorry. It pays to weatherproof your house and pay attention to goods in good time.

6. Cavity wall insulation is another method for retaining heat inside the home and will save money.

7. Make sure all out-door items such as picnic tables, sheds, barbecues and other garden furniture items which can be open to weather damage during a storm, are stored away in a secure manner. This is an easy job and will save the expense of buying new equipment next summer. Again, weatherproof your house by using good instinct and foresight.

8. If you live on a windy site, tie your dustbin lid to one of the side handles with a long piece of cord. This saves a hunt and search when the wind has subsided. If your dustbin is the old fashioned metal type, this also eliminates a crash and clatter during the night or whenever. This tip has nothing to do with warmth, but having been hit in the face by a flying metal dustbin lid during gale force winds, it saves potential injury.

9. Not exactly a weatherproof job - more a maintenance tip. Remove clinging ivy from the brickwork where is can cause damage to soft mortar. Save yourself the job of re-pointing. 'Neat' SBK weedkiller painted on with a small brush works wonders. Just paint in several places, the nearer the root source of the plant the better. Then leave alone for the SBK to work - and it does.

10. Remove moss from tiles if you possibly can. Moss traps moisture and can cause frost damage in winter. It pays to weatherproof your house in good time.

11. Check your outside lights. These serve two purposes - they light your way when you arrive home, but the sensors will act as a deterrent to possible burglars. Burglary Prevention Advice

12. If you have a drive way, rain settling in any dips or cracks will be made worse when the frost arrives. Gravel paths may need a top up. Some mortar may be needed underneath loose paving slabs. It pays to weatherproof your house in good time.

13. Although this site Maintain Your Building is primarily concerned with period properties it offers great advice that applies to buildings of any age.

Inside:

14. Have your boiler serviced once a year by a CORGI registered gas professional and have the central heating and gas fires checked to ensure they are working safely and efficiently. Not a weatherproof job, but definitely a safety job.

15. If you have an oil fired system then a yearly check by an oil heating engineer is advised. In both these cases, ask around and see what you can learn as to the experience and capabilities of the people offering their services.

16. Check that the loft is insulated properly but also has adequate ventilation. In the UK there are Government grants available to certain sections of community. Home Insulation Grants may help here. Around 15% could be shaved off your heating bill with 270 mm (around 8" will suffice) thick-loft insulation. This will really help keeping the effects of cold weather out and definitely rates as a weatherproof job.

17. Double-glazing is an absolute boon. It keeps the heat in and the noise out. Even secondary double-glazing will make a difference to the effects of the weather outside. This type of double glazing is easy to take down during the summer and also makes cleaning easy.

18. If your double glazed window should take a 'hit' from a stone and starts collecting moisture between the glazing, do not despair. Hunt around locally (Google) for a company that deals with this sort of problem. Often it can be rectified if the problem is not too severe.

19. Thick curtains will help to keep more heat in the home. An interlining will be an advantage.

20. Keep the central heating set to 10 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. This is important should you be away from home during the winter. A job for the benefit of your house and your pocket. Weatherproof your house by good instinct and foresight.

21. Fit an internal seal to your letterbox. Do not use the metal flap type as this is soon knocked off if the paper-boy/girl has a huge bundle to push through. Fit the type that has two sturdy rows of bristles covering the gap.

22. Fit draft excluder to all opening windows. Don't neglect to check all your doors as well.

23. Often forgotten - if you have an outside door with a mortice type lock, leave the key in the keyhole, this will stop another draft. Don't use this tip if there is a panel of glass in the door - burglars could smash the window and use the key to enter!

24. Make sure you know how to turn off your electricity, water and gas supplies. You may need to turn these off during an emergency.

Check your stopcock is maintained in good order - not like this example. Try to check it about once every 6 months.

25. If you have already made one insurance claim for e.g. a video recorder or similar because of an electricity surge during a storm, your insurance company are unlikely to view a claim for a second machine in a favourable light. (excuse the pun)So during a storm unplug any such appliances.

26. Remember to keep a torch handy in case of a power cut. If you use candles don't leave children in charge of these. There are now small battery powered reading lamps available which are invaluabe.

27. Not a 'weatherproof' tip, but still very useful. If you can, throw a blanket over your chest freezer to help retain the cold temperature. This will make your food last longer during a power-cut. Leave it in place for an hour or so after the power is restored. Don't open any freezer during a power-cut.

28. Remember a Sani-flow unit should not be used during a power cut.

When you weatherproof your house you can relax in the knowledge that you have done all you can to cope with any foul weather that may lie ahead.


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