Autumn guide to keeping your holiday home safe
While the ‘staycation’ season has extended a little further into the autumn months this year, it’s now time to start thinking about preparing your holiday home, static caravan or chalet for the winter shut-down. Before you might turn the key in the lock for the last time until the spring, pack away the china and perhaps think about putting that garden furniture into storage, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your holiday home is prepared for the winter months.
By carrying out a little bit of autumn maintenance and checking things over carefully before the worst of the winter weather kicks in, you can potentially reduce the risks to your holiday home and in turn, reduce the need to make an insured claim.
Inside your holiday home
Holiday homes can sometimes be left vacant for prolonged periods. That means if anything happens (such as a burst water pipe, for example), it may not be discovered for days or even weeks. By then, the damage could be extensive. To avoid that from happening, check that all your pipes are in good order and that there are no leaks. If your holiday home is in a part of the UK that can suffer from cold winters, it may be a good idea to make sure your pipes are properly lagged to prevent them from freezing and splitting in very cold weather.
Ensure that everything is unplugged so that no electrical items are left connected to the mains, and if you have gas cookers or fires then make sure that the gas is properly shut off. Covering furniture with dust sheets may seem old fashioned, but it can keep dirt off your soft cushions and keep them in tip-top condition.
Give everything a thorough clean so that your holiday home is sparkling and ready to use when the winter months are over.
Outside your holiday home
Outside your property, there’s plenty that you could do to get it ready for the winter. It’s time to get the ladder out and check the roof for loose tiles, as well as maybe clearing gutters to prevent water damage. Make sure the property is water-tight and ready for those heavy winter storms. If you’re close to a stream or river that could potentially be a flood risk, then it may be worth making sure flood boards or sandbags are in position, just in case.
Garden furniture may be capable of putting up with the worst the winter can through at it, but it might be worth storing it in a dry shed to prevent water or frost damage.
If you have a holiday chalet or static caravan on a managed park then you maybe in a more fortunate position, as the park may keep an eye on vacant properties on behalf of owners. However, it’s worth checking your contract to find out exactly how much maintenance the park conducts on your behalf, and what your obligations are as the property owner.
Static caravans are usually very stable, but in extreme weather can become detached from their hard-standing. Make sure all four corners of your caravan are securely anchored to prevent them from shifting position in a storm.
Holiday home Insurance
No matter how carefully you prepare for the winter, even if you’ve done your inside and outside checks, things can still go wrong. Intasure can provide insurance cover for holiday homes, chalets and static caravans in the UK that could potentially cover from some events that occur during the colder months.
The checks above should help you minimise the risk of property damage while your holiday home is closed up for the winter. Should the worst happen, Intasure offers a range of insurance packages for holiday homes, cover for static caravans, and insurance for chalets. We try to make it easy for you to claim following an insured claim should your holiday home suffer damage as a result of winter storms, flooding, fire or even burglary.
If you own a holiday home, chalet or static caravan in the UK, talk to Intasure today to find an insurance policy to meet your needs. Alternatively, use our online form to request a quote.
*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.