Autumn Property Maintenance

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Autumn is a beautiful time of year. Those cold, crisp mornings, the reds and golds of the trees and the crunch of leaves underfoot. But Autumn is no time to be complacent when it comes to property maintenance. Prevention is always better than cure, so we’ve put together some hints and tips to help you to avoid some of the most common causes of claims during the Autumn months.

Heavy Rain

Maintain your drains and guttering regularly - At this time of year, increased levels of rainfall can be a primary cause of claims. The increased water flow, coupled with blockages from fallen leaves, can cause huge potential problems for your drainage and sewage system with a big impact on their capabilities to cope. Keep your drains in good condition and clear your gutters of any leaves or moss regularly (our insurers recommend doing this twice a year).

Be wary of collecting rainwater - Grass is often replaced by lower maintenance coverings such as patios or decking, but grass plays an important role in soaking up excess rainwater. Be aware of any areas outside where a heavy downpour could gather and ensure these do not slope towards your property. Any areas of flat roof should be regularly inspected and renewed by a professional to prevent any sitting rainwater seeping through the covering as it wears away.

High Winds

Maintain any large trees nearby - Keeping any nearby trees professionally maintained on a regular basis can help to prevent a claim when the winds hit. Have any dead or loose branches removed to prevent these causing damage to your property if taken down by a strong gust of wind.

Keep your roof in good condition - Before it becomes a larger problem, check your roof regularly and replace any missing or broken tiles, which can lead to water leaking into loft areas. Loose tiles are also a potential liability concern, if one were to dislodge and injure someone, or someone’s property.

Secure or store any freestanding outdoor items – Move items like garden furniture and ornaments into a shed or garage if possible. This not only protects them from damage in stormy conditions, but also keeps them out of view of thieves who may otherwise take advantage as the garden is being used less often.

Other Hints & Tips for Autumn

Have your chimney swept - this should ideally be carried out at least once a year, the best time is before the 'first fire' of the season.

Check your fire protections - whilst it’s sensible to be checking your alarms all year round, this is an especially important task if you have a log burner or open fire and are planning to use it as it begins to turn colder.

Check or consider installing outdoor lighting - test all outside lights to make sure that bulbs are working. Outdoor lighting will not only be a great help on dark winter mornings and evenings but, with the nights drawing in, will also act as a deterrent to thieves.

By following these simple steps, you can reduce the chance of a claim souring these beautiful autumn months. If you’d like to know more about how to protect your home from issues like these, please call us on 01285 885885 or leave us a message using the form below. We’d be happy to help.