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Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.
It is always a good idea to keep your house in good repair and to make sure you have comprehensive insurance for your home at a good price. But at this time of year many homes could be at risk from the effects of winter as a large number of insurance companies will not cover you for damage as a result of frost.
According to John Lewis Insurance this is because it is not viewed as an 'insurable event'. Insurance is there to protect the policyholder against the unpredictable, but frost is something that happens every winter. The upside, though, is that there is plenty that can be done to minimise the risk of damage to your home over the winter period.
Many people know that a cold snap can result in frozen pipes which can burst, but frost can also cause damage to brickwork, paintwork and pathways. Taking a few steps could save you hundreds of pounds in repairs.
Here are our Top Ten Suggestions
Lag your pipes and hot water tank - This will not only provide protection but save on your energy bills
Leave your heating on - If you go away leave your heating to come on at regular intervals
Find your stopcock - If your pipes freeze you will need to know how to turn your cold water off
Have your boiler serviced -This can prevent your heating failing over winter. Use a Gas Safe registered engineer
Look up at your roof - If there are broken tiles or damage to your roof, heat can escape more easily. Have repairs carried out by a qualifed person - do not attempt it yourself.
Clear gutters - And fix broken ones as this can stop icy water dripping down outside brickwork which can then be damaged by frost.
Keep stocked with fuel - If you have fuel delivered, keep reserves, as in bad weather, lorries may not be able to get through with supplies.
Clear ice and snow - The longer snow and ice is left on paths or paintwork the more likely it is to do damage.
Cut back the garden - Trim branches that hang near your property and remove vines or ivy growing up your house as they can soak up water which then gets into the brickwork.
Reseal paintwork - Cracks in paintwork, particularly around windows and doors can let in the frost and ruin the woodwork.
Many of these steps will also save you money on your energy bills. We can show you many other ways of helping you save money on your energy.