Winter is very much here with all its cold, dark and dreary delights. And with the weather taking a distinct turn for the worse, the risks of things going awry around the home are also very much on the increase.
Nonetheless, figures suggest that two thirds of UK households are unprepared for the dangers that may materialise in the months ahead. So what are the biggest winter home emergency risks, and what can you do about them?
The undisputed champion of winter home emergencies is the broken down boiler. When temperatures really start to dip and you start to crank the heating up for longer and longer every day, that’s when the strain on any creaking systems really starts to show. If your boiler hasn’t had a service in a while and has developed any underlying faults, the hard work it has to put in over the winter months can really expose these and leave you well and truly out in the cold facing an expensive emergency repair bill. Get your boiler serviced asap to save yourself hundreds of pounds and give yourself that added peace of mind.
Unlike many other countries, the UK only infrequently experiences severe, sustained freezes when the temperatures don’t rise above zero for days or weeks on end - and that tends to make us ill-prepared when it does happen. Frozen pipes are the most obvious risk of a hard freeze, leading to plumbing systems backing up or cracks in piping that can cause flooding. Your boiler is also at risk from condensation pipes freezing. The best protection is to make sure all exposed pipework is appropriately lagged and keep drains clear and regularly cleaned, as blockages of solid waste increase the risk of cracking if the pipes freeze.
While we often think of emergency situations in our home being all about appliances packing in and severe damage being caused, having our homes infested with rats, mice or other creatures can be no less distressing. The risk of this happening during winter increases dramatically because, like us, little critters are looking for somewhere warm to get out of the cold. Keeping your home, and especially your kitchen, clean and clear of clutter helps to make sure there is no food lying around to attract unwanted guests and no convenient places for them to hide away. It’s also a good idea to carry out a thorough check to make sure there are no obvious ways they can get inside.
There are, of course, other risks associated with severe winter weather, such as flooding and storm damage. Despite being the most destructive of all, these are, mercifully, less common than those listed above - although there’s little you can do to prepare if you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to them.
One thing everyone can do, however, is get themselves protected by taking out home emergency insurance cover. With only one in five home insurance policies providing protection for emergency repairs, give yourself that added peace of mind this winter with Row.co.uk’s exceptional value emergency cover.
*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.