After an unseasonably warm September and some spectacular sunny days in October, you might have shelved your plans to prepare your home for the colder weather ahead.
Don’t be fooled! With winter just around the corner, now is the time to get ready for the severe weather that can wreak havoc on your home.
Each year, we see homeowners devastated by the impact of harsh winter weather. Some damage however can be prevented with a little attention around the home before the winter hits. Check out our expert tips for protecting your home from winter weather damage.
Get help from accredited tradespeople
There are a number of steps you can take to prepare for winter storms, flooding and freezing. While it is possible to carry out a number of these steps yourself, others really should be taken care of by an accredited tradesperson who can spot potential issues, make recommendations and save you money on costly repairs in the long run.
CMG is proud to work with a highly skilled and reliable trade network throughout the island of Ireland, so why not give us a call if you are looking for a trusted specialist? From chimney cleaners and roofers to plumbers and electricians, we can put you in touch with an accredited tradesperson who can provide you with the right advice and help protect your home in the lead up to winter. Phone us on 1850 28 1850 (ROI) or 028 8224 9015 (NI) today for exclusive access to our network!
Boost your insulation
Did you know around a third of the heat in your home can escape through your roof and poorly insulated walls? Saving energy is not only good for the environment, but it is great for your pocket, so it makes sense to boost your home’s insulation. Attic insulation is a great place to start with 300mm of rockwool or equivalent being the standard. Cavity walls can be insulated with an injection of product from outside, while internal walls can be fitted with dry lining, and exterior walls with insulating material attached to the wall’s outer surface and rendered for weather proofing. If your home was built and lived in before 2006, you should check the SEAI website to find out if you are eligible for a grant to help cover the cost of your insulation upgrade.
Fend off freezing
Freezing temperatures can cause water in your pipes to expand. When the pressure becomes too much for your pipes to bear, they can crack and burst, causing untold damage with flooding throughout your home. Insulating your pipes will help protect them from freezing while also saving you money by preventing heat loss.
When the temperature dips below freezing, burst pipes are not the only thing to worry about. Surfaces can become extremely slippery and dangerous, and the last thing you want is a broken leg. Be sure to have salt handy for your footpath, tarmac and entrance ways to prevent slip and skid hazards.
Check your roof and gutters
From bird’s nests and fallen leaves to moss, dirt, stones and weeds, gutters get full pretty quickly and should be checked seasonally. Congested gutters can trap water and cause water leaks inside your home, while the weight of debris that has collected over time can cause gutters to sag and pull away from the fascia and soffit. This can cause quite a lot of damage to your roof so it is important to clean your gutters regularly. You should also have your roof checked for missing or broken tiles or slates and replace them before the winter hits to prevent water leaks and damage.
Clean your chimney
There is nothing quite like soaking up the warmth of a fire on a cold evening, but before you stoke those flames, it is particularly important your chimney has been thoroughly cleaned. Statistics from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government showed that chimney fires are responsible for roughly 40% of house fires in Ireland. Not only that, they are deadly sources of odourless carbon monoxide gas. Cleaning your chimney and flues and making sure the vents are unblocked can help prevent chimney fires and gas emissions. You should also make sure your home is fitted with adequate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for added safety.
Service your boiler
Carbon monoxide can also be released by faulty, blocked or damaged gas, LPG or oil-fired boilers. Sadly, on average, six people die in Ireland each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. It is vital you have your boiler serviced annually by an accredited technician who will not only ensure your appliance is running safely, but also help prevent expensive breakdowns that leave you without home heating when the temperatures dip.
Brace for the storm
Hardly a winter goes by without a severe storm so now is the time to check your outdoor furniture and equipment are stored away or tied down. This includes barbeques, trampolines, planter boxes and pots, garden chairs, water features and chimineas. Take time to check wobbly roof coverings, gutters, tiles and slates which can come loose in strong winds and cause damage to your home and property. You should also secure fences, garden trellises and gates which can be become dangerous in strong winds. Finally, plug out your electrical appliances at the wall to avoid a power surge, or invest in a surge protector to prevent damage to your equipment during a storm.
Defend your home from flood waters
Unfortunately, flooding is a common occurrence throughout Ireland in the winter, especially in low lying and coastal areas. There are things you can do to help defend your home from flood waters and minimise the impact of surges and flooding. Invest in floodgates, sandbags and flood boards well ahead of the winter so you are ready for a flood before it happens. Also use a plug to block your sinks, baths and showers to prevent water flowing back through your drains and into your home. Store your valuables where flood waters won’t reach, either in an attic or another safe location, and turn off power and water coming into your home to protect against fire and other potential damage.
Call CMG for help, we are here when you need us!
Despite the new Level 5 restrictions, you can rely on our team to support you right throughout the winter and all stages of lockdown. If your home suffers weather damage and think you have a claim, get in touch with us first for advice about what to do next. Phone us on 1850 28 1850 (ROI) or 028 8224 9015 (NI), we are always here when you need us, even during the lockdown!