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    Getting Your Home Winter Ready In 6 Easy Steps

    You don’t have to be an expert in DIY to prepare your home for the winter ahead; there are a number of easy steps you can take to make sure your home is as ready as possible.

    1. Clear the gutters and drains

    Clearing the gutters and drains is probably the last thing on your to-do list, but it’s an essential task.

    Debris such as leaves and mud can block the drains and once it becomes too much, it can cause leaks into the roof and walls.

    Making sure the gutters are clear from any possible build-up will minimize the risk of water damage.

    1. Get your furnace checked

    Having no central heating over the winter period is the last thing you want to be dealing with.

    So be sure to get your furnace serviced before the cold weather really kicks in.

    1. Sweep the chimney

    If you have a chimney, it’s important to maintain it.

    Many of us underestimate the severity of chimney fires and therefore forget about cleaning out the chimney.

    But chimney fires can occur frequently during the winter months, so think about employing a professional to clean and take care of your chimney.

    1. Get insulation – and not just a scarf and gloves!

    Typically, you can save at least 10-50% per year on your energy bills by having insulation installed, according to the Department of Energy.

    Around a quarter of heat in your house is lost through the roof, so insulating the loft is a good place to begin. Cavity wall insulation is also worth considering.

    If you’re worried about keeping the costs down, it might be worth looking into the grants provided by local utility agencies or government rebates or tax incentives.

    1. Protect your pipes

    The best way to keep on top of pipes during the winter is to protect them with a foam layer (called lagging) which will help to prevent them freezing and bursting.

    Be sure to also remove any vegetation that surrounds the pipes as this can also cause damage.

    1. Get covered

    Making sure you’re covered for any winter-related damage is really important.

    So, check that your home insurance policy offers adequate protection and that you’d be covered in the event of fire, flood, subsidence and theft.

    You may also need to consider accidental damage or storm damage as most home cover policies won’t include this as standard, so you may need to add it on.

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