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Now’s the time to weigh up whether your apartments with care are ready to withstand the winter, as forecasters are now predicting that – despite the unseasonably mild December we’ve enjoyed – we’re going to see the coldest winter in five years.
Research from M&S Bank has found that 44 per cent of homeowners don’t regularly maintain their properties to protect them against seasonal damage caused by the weather, despite the fact that 76 per cent do know that keeping the property in a good condition is a requisite for the majority of home insurance policies.
To prepare your house for winter, tips from the bank include keeping gutters clear of leaves and debris to prevent blockages, having your chimneys swept to prevent fires from starting, insulating your pipes, pruning back trees and leaving your heating on a low setting during freezing conditions.
“Regular maintenance is vital to ensure your home is in the best possible condition to withstand weather-related damage and, should the worst happen, ensures that any insurance claim you may make is valid,” head of products at M&S Bank Paul Stokes said.
If very cold weather does hit us, make sure you keep yourself well and warm by drawing your curtains at dusk, closing your doors to keep out draughts, drinking regular hot drinks, eating at least one hot meal a day and keeping as active in your home as you can. You should also heat your home to at least 18 degrees C if you’re over 65, have a health condition like lung disease or if you have reduced mobility. Find more advice on the NHS website.