This year we have had a fairly mild start to winter but it is inevitable that the cold spell will hit at some point and it might be worth planning ahead now to prepare for it.
Last winter a client had a major leak at their property following a burst pipe. The client had already moved out and the property was sat empty – they were only alerted to the problem after the neighbour spotted water pouring out of the upstairs window. Luckily they had left a key with their estate agent who went to the property to turn off the water supply but the damage was already significant – collapsed ceilings, wet carpets and a lot of mess to sort out.
Some pointers to think about, especially if your property is left empty for periods of time:-
- Make sure a spare key is left with someone, such as your estate agent or a
local friend or relative.
- Ensure the property is regularly checked – it would be worth asking a friend or
relative to pop in every day
- Make sure you know where your stop cock is and let others know
- Keep contact numbers up to date so you can be contacted in an emergency.
- Make sure your insurance policy is still in force
- Double check any additional terms and conditions your insurer might have for
empty properties to ensure your policy remains valid in the event of a
- It will be a condition of your insurance policy to prevent loss or damage and
keep the property in good repair. Consider keeping the heating on and
check the boiler and heating are in good working order
- Ensure pipes and water tanks are lagged
- Consider keeping the loft hatch ajar so warm air can circulate any pipes in the
Dawn Brogan, Glanvilles, Havant (Originally Dec 2011)