Coldest winter night so far predicted - is your home prepared?

27 January 2020

New forecast predicts the coldest night of winter to date - and many homes could be at risk. 

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The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for snow and ice in Scotland and parts of Northern England.

Overnight temperatures across the country are expected to fall to as low as -10C  in the Scottish Highlands making it the coldest night of winter so far.

Further south, temperatures are expected to fall between -1C and -2C in areas such as Cornwall and Dorset.

Insurers are urging people to better prepare for the extreme cold and wet weather conditions to help protect their homes.

New research from insurer Policy Expert found that 60% of customers are unaware of which flood zone their property is in in while 41% do not pay attention to weather warnings.

Failing to maintain your home during the winter months could put it at risk of damage such as pipes bursting and flooding.

Adam Powell, co-founder and chief operating officer of Policy Expert, says: "Cold and wet weather can wreak havoc on people’s homes during the winter months.

So, it is in responsible insurers’ interests to ensure customers are as well prepared as possible to help prevent damage inflicted by wintery weather – not only to reduce the frequency or scale of claims, but as part of providing good overall customer service.

From a customer’s point of view, having a poorly maintained home can impact the success of an insurance claim.”

How to protect your home in winter

There are several simple steps you can take throughout the year to ensure your home is prepared for extreme cold and wet weather snaps.

1. Check your pipes

Regularly check your pipes throughout the year. If you notice any cracks, breaks or leaks, try to get them fixed as soon as possible. Broken or leaky pipes could lead to flooding in your home during extreme weather. 

2. Insulate water tanks an pipes

Insulating your water tank and pipes can help prevent your pipes freezing in cold temperatures. Frozen pipes can cause blockages and also lead to burst pipes. Wrapping them in thermal insulation such as pipe lagging or pipe jackets can help reduce the risk.  

3. Manage your central heating

Your central heating should be kept at a minimum of 10C to prevent your pipes from freezing.  Be sure to set your heating to come on while you’re away from your home to prevent damage occurring when you’re not in.

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