As the days get darker and the miserable weather approaches, winter can be harsh on holiday homes, potentially causing damages and break-ins by thieves. The onslaught of rain, wind, snow, floods and storms can take its toll on your holiday home, so it’s a good idea to know how you can leave it in the safest and most prepared condition.
Although your insurance may cover some of the potential damage and destruction, it takes time and effort sorting everything out and many general ‘wear and tear’ issues are not covered by insurance. Keeping your holiday home well maintained and ensuring that you have prevention strategies in place can lessen the chance of suffering damage and in turn, expensive repair bills.
What can you do to prepare your holiday home for the winter?
General maintenance and procedures
- Frost: frosty weather can cause all sorts of problems to a house, most commonly pipe bursts. Having a heating plan or leaving your heating on when the house is unoccupied can lower the chances of this happening dramatically.
- Insulation: Loft insulation can help lower your hating bills as it allows the house to retain its heat much more effectively. Insulating pipes and heating systems with covers is also a good way to help prevent issues.
- Allow heat into the loft: During extreme freezing temperatures, it is advisable to leave the loft hatch open, allowing the heat from the house to easily get into the loft and circulate around the loft and pipes.
- Boiler: A heating failure could cause all sorts of problems, including frozen and burst pipes. Servicing your boiler annually is the best way to avoid issues surrounding boiler failure.
- Drain heating system: Turning off the water won’t be enough for a property that is left for a long period of time. You need to have a plumber come and drain down the water and central heating system to remove the risk of damage.
- Roofing: Ensure you don’t have broken tiles on the roof, as they could fall off and damage property, or even injure someone. Broken tiles can also lead to water ingress, which is an annoying problem experienced by unprepared property owners.
- Gutters & drains: Check for leaks and clear drains/gutters of leaves and debris so that they are at a much lower risk of overflowing which can cause flooding and damp. Additionally, compiled rain water can cause freezing in cold conditions, so ensuring your drainage is working properly is important.
- Branches: Overhanging branches can fall off and cause damage. Make sure that anything that could be classed as out of place or overhanging should be trimmed away to make sure there are no accidents.
- Windows: Check for gaps around windows and ensure they are covered to prevent draughts into the property. Check for cracks and get them filled, and when you leave, makes sure windows and shutters are closed to prevent banging.
- Outbuildings: Make sure any outbuildings are secured in the same way you would with your property.
- Satellite dishes/ aerials: Ensure these are fixed securely as they could fall off or come loose, ruining your signal.
- Alarms: Installing an alarm at your home can stop thieves from entering your home.
- Don’t hide keys: Leaving keys under plant pots stones etc. are not recommended, as thieves know to check these places.
- Lock outbuildings: Expensive equipment can often be stored in these outbuildings, so ensure they are fully secured to avoid disappointment when you return.
-Security lighting: Making sure you have security lighting is important, as it deters thieves from your home as it increases the chance of them getting caught, Putting a radio or TV on timer is also a good way to deter them.
- Safe: Install a safe for your valuable belongings, so if you are broken into, you won’t lose the really important items you leave.
- Have a watchful eye: Asking a neighbour or nearby friend to keep an eye on your property is a good idea, as they can inform you of any problems quickly, allowing you to resolve them effectively.
Holiday homes are most vulnerable during the winter, but ensuing you have completed the steps within this article can be a huge help! A holiday homes mid Wales could be the perfect purchase or chance to book a festive getaway. By purchasing one, you enable yourself endless opportunities to visit a beautiful area and relax after those long working weeks.It is important to ensure your holiday home is appropriately insured for those factors you cannot prepare for.