Protecting your home this winter

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1 February 2019

Every winter millions of pounds worth of damage is caused by frozen and burst pipes. Here are some general tips to help protect your home and prepare for extreme weather conditions such as frost and snow.

  • Ensure that the boiler and heating system are regularly serviced at least once a year by a registered professional.
  • If your home is left unattended leave the heating on low, around 15 degrees Celsius, to prevent pipes freezing in very cold weather.
  • Insulating your loft will reduce heat loss from your home. The Energy Saving Trust recommends the minimum thickness of loft insulation should be 270mm.
  • Ensure furniture isn’t too close to your radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate. Leaving loft covers or cupboard doors ajar will allow warm air to circulate the voids.
  • Know where the water shut off valve (stop tap) is in the event of an emergency as it will help you to quickly isolate the supply. Labelling it will also help others to locate it.
  • Water pipes, cold water tanks and taps in unheated or vulnerable places should be lagged to help prevent pipes freezing.
  • We recommend that pipes are visually checked regularly. Plastic plumbing joints will degrade sooner than metal ones. Arrange to re-washer any dripping taps; if they freeze, they’ll block your pipes.
  • If you’re going away for a while, ask a trusted friend or relative to check your home regularly to make sure that your pipes haven’t burst or frozen and make sure they know where the stop tap is.
  • Keep your drains clear - avoid putting any food waste or fat down the sink as this can cause a blockage.
  • Regularly clear out basins, bath and shower drains to prevent blockages.

If you wish to claim on your Integra policy for damage caused by an escape of water, please visit our claims pages for more information and to register your claim online.

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