For once, long-suffering UK residents have so far in 2018 actually been able to talk about ‘summer weather’ using terms other than drizzle and disappointment.
The running joke is, of course, that as soon as the mercury does start to rise, we all take up complaining about it being too warm!
Not that we want to put a dampener on the lovely early summer weather we’ve had, but when temperatures do go up, it makes the occurrence of certain household issues more likely. And not often being blessed with extended periods of hot weather, these can be emergencies that we are not always best prepared to deal with.
Here are some of the more common home emergencies that are associated with warm summer weather.
Fridge and freezer failure
There are a few different factors which contribute to fridge and freezer failures becoming more of a problem during the summer. For one, the higher the temperature, the harder the appliances have to work. Once you get to a room temperature of around 30oC, standard refrigerators and freezers sold on the UK market start to struggle to lose the heat they generate at the back, which is an integral part of the cooling process.
An indoor temperature of 30oC and above is high, but if you have your appliances in a room that gets a lot of sunshine, it can become an issue. Another factor is that we tend to fill our fridges and freezers more during warm weather, for example to stock up on cool drinks. This also puts the appliances under greater strain.
A third factor is the increased risk of electrical blackouts during the summer - see below for more on that.
Fridges are more likely to lead to spoiled food if they fail as they will only keep their temperature for a few hours once power is lost. But the worst case scenario is that your freezer fails while you are on holiday, and you lose all of the food you had stored in it. It is well worth checking to make sure your appliance warranty or home insurance covers you for lost food.
Summer storm damage
We are used to late autumn and early winter storms bringing strong winds and high rainfall, with flooding across parts of the country a now seemingly an annual occurrence. But summer storms can be just as destructive.
Indeed, the thunderstorms associated with warm, humid weather can often bring intense deluges which lead to localised flash flooding - as experienced in parts of the West Midlands this summer, when a month’s rainfall fell in an hour.
As well as flooding, intense sudden downpours will test out your guttering, fascias and roofing, exposing any faults and perhaps even causing damage directly. There is also the risk of overwhelmed drainage systems backing up, or fast-moving waters carrying debris into your pipes and blocking them up.
Summer thunderstorms also bring another threat aside from heavy rainfall - lightning. Electrical storms are capable of knocking out power supplies over significant areas, playing havoc with a world that relies more and more on electrically-powered gadgets and infrastructure.
We have already mentioned the risk a power cut poses to your fridge and freezer. A full freezer will hold its temperature with the door closed for up to 48 hours, and it is extremely rare for power outages to last that long. However, the bigger risk is that the power failure causes damage to the motor or fuse. Indeed, all appliances are at risk from power cuts and surges that can occur in electrical storms, so it is worth making sure your most valuable items are fully insured.
While the chances of rodents deciding to move into your home go up when the weather gets colder, fo other pests - particularly insects - the opposite is true. Wasps, hornets, ants and flies are most active during the summer, and this is when you are most at risk of large colonies appearing on your property.
Wasps and ants can build their nests in very awkward-to-reach places, making eradication tricky. Having pest control insurance ensures you can afford to call in top quality professional help.
We might think of burglary as a crime that best suits the long dark nights of winter. But actually, the summer months provide plenty of opportunities for criminals to target your home. For one, during warm weather we tend to open lots of windows and use our patio doors. It only takes us to forget to close and lock window at night to give a keen-eyed burglar the opportunity they are looking for.
Then, of course, there is the summer holiday season, when millions of us leave our homes unattended for a week or two at a time.
Extra peace of mind
None of this should spoil the joys of a long, hot summer. But to give yourself that little bit of extra peace of mind, it is worth checking you have got all of your insurance policies in order. At Row.co.uk, we offer affordable home emergency cover that will keep you protected for everything from electrical supply problems to broken windows, burst pipes and pest control. Get in touch to get a quote today.