Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has been revealed that December and January are the worst months for storm damage to properties in the UK, according to findings from insurance provider Aviva.
This winter has been particularly troublesome for some homeowners in the UK, as Storm Desmond has hit the north of the country, wreaking havoc. This tirade of awful weather has left 5,000 homes under water and 10,000 houses without power across the north of England and the south of Scotland.
These extreme weather conditions are taking the wind out of many properties' sails, leaving homeowners open to thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Aviva has subsequently issued a number of measures that homeowners can take to ensure their homes are better protected from any bouts of rough weather over the next six weeks.
Storms can cause prolonged devastation, which is especially upsetting as Christmas approaches, when homeowners should be putting up decorations, not dealing with the fall-out from a heavy flood.
If you know your home is located in a high-risk flood area then there are things you can do to make sure your home is better protected.
Replacing carpets with hard floors should be one of the first things you consider, as they are easier to deal with should a flood occur.
What's more, having hard floors instead of carpets could also increase a property's value, good news if you’re thinking of selling.
Moving plug sockets further up the wall to avoid losing power would be wise too, as would painting your property with water-resistant paint.
Winter not only puts your home at risk from the effects of flooding, but in these months, temperatures are regularly dropping below freezing, which can lead to pipes freezing and subsequently bursting inside a property.
December is statistically the worst month for burst pipes, according to Aviva, with December 27 the worst day on average.
Having a burst pipe is an incredibly frustrating problem, as it’s one that can be easily prevented. Lagging the pipes is the best way to avoid it. This can be done by keeping the heating on a consistently low heat to counteract plummeting temperatures.
This is especially important if you’re going away over the festive period, or if you own a rental property and know that your tenants will be away for a few weeks.
If you’re worried that your property may suffer serious damage in the event of a storm or period of extreme weather, there are a few more things you can do to help protect it.
Pruning tree branches, replacing loose roof tiles, maintaining fences and clearing gutters; all are things you can do which don't cost an arm and a leg, but may save your home from nature's full force.
The effects of strong gales and storms are felt most heavily in January, according to Aviva. So if you want to ensure that you are protected against another month of potentially damaging weather, then it’s best to act now.
Not only will taking measures to protect your home cause you less stress in the long-run, these types of maintenance tasks will need to be carried out if you’re thinking of selling your home. They will also be necessary if you’re letting your property and want to ensure your tenants stick around for the long-term.