Winter is an opportune time to undertake the vital maintenance and repairs necessary to ensure your safety at home. “These tips will help you manage the challenges that come with winter and colder temperatures,” says Mandy Barrett of insurance brokerage and risk advisors, Aon South Africa
Winter is an opportune time to ensure that vital maintenance and repairs around your home are done. “Your insurance company will not cover you for gradual deterioration as a result of a lack of maintenance, often referred to as ‘wear and tear’. Once all the ‘wear and tear’ checks and balances are complete, you can rest easy knowing that if things do go wrong, your insurance will take care of it,” explains Mandy.
Follow these handy tips for managing the challenges that come with winter and colder temperatures:
- Insulate your geyser and water pipes with a geyser blanket and lagging – this helps water stay hotter for longer and helps prevent burst geysers and pipes during cold spells.
- Service and check that all the seals, valves, stop-cock, thermostat and element are in good working order.
- Ensure the drip tray is correctly installed and placed.
- Make sure your insurance cover is adequate to replace or repair your geyser and any resultant damage
Fill the gaps
- Fill any cracks in your walls, especially exterior walls.
- Check and replace broken roof tiles and ensure flashings are in a good working condition, especially if you experience rainy winter months.
Gas stove, heaters, fireplace and generators
- Exercise extra precaution when using gas and open flames.
- If you suspect a gas leak, immediately turn off the source and open all windows and clear
- Make sure flammable objects are kept well away from a fireplace and always use a screen to prevent any sparks.
- Ensure your generator is safely installed by a qualified electrician with a transfer switch so you can safely switch between electricity from the grid and from the generator.
Maintaining the exterior of your building
- Remove leaves from gutters and clear away debris as clogged gutters pose a maintenance risk.
- Trim dead branches and clear away all garden debris as these pose a fire risk in dry areas.
- Make sure the water pump on your water collection tank or borehole is in good working order and has ‘run-dry’ protection so it will automatically shut off if it detects there is no water to pump.