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COLD WEATHER PROTECTION

Most buildings insurance will offer you protection against damage caused by cold weather, although it should be remembered that the most insurance policies won't reimburse you for any damage caused by frost. Whilst it probably will be possible to claim if you happen to suffer damage from cold weather, it's always best not to claim on your home insurance unless you absolutely have to, so here is a bit of guidance on how to protect your house.

There are many things that you can do before the cold weather arrives. The first thing you should do is locate the main stopcock for your house, make sure it is in good condition and that you can turn it on and off. You should also repair any dripping tabs, and look in the loft space to see whether it contains any water pipes and tanks.

Insulation is the key to protecting your pipes and tanks from frost. If it is damaged, or too thin, you should try and improve it or buy some more insulation. Any pipes and tanks - in fact anything that may carry water - is liable to freezing and will need to be lagged. Lagging is a type of insulation that wraps around pipes and is often clamped in place. Generally speaking, the thicker the lagging the better, especially if you live in a very cold part of the country, or have a very well-insulated loft floor as this may prevent heat rising from the rest of the house.

Any bends in pipes, or hard to get sections, should be insulated with securely fixed strips of insulation material - if you are struggling to keep the insulation in place you can buy all sorts of fittings from plumbing merchants. You should also invest in a preformed tank jacket filled with glass fibre matting for your water tank, this will guarantee that it won't freeze.

Don't insulate underneath any tank, and you may want to consider leaving some pipes un-insulated underneath. If you place insulation material below water carrying pipes or tanks, warm air is unable to rise from the room below to heat the pipe or tank, thus leaving it more likely to freeze. This does not, however, apply to central heating leader tanks which are often raised above the ground level, and this should be completely enclosed in an insulating jacket.

Make sure insulation is placed over the pipes which run between the joists. This will make sure that they are enclosed in an insulation envelope in the house. The best method is to try and create - with insulation - a method of keeping the pipes and tanks in the warm part of the house. Whilst everything has to be secured, however, you will need to leave some panels loose allowing space for maintenance.

Homeinsurance is a very important product, and doesn't have to be expensive. You can buy cheap policies online and it's best to make sure that you have a policy that will protect you from anything the weather can throw at you.



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