Get your home ready for the big freeze - top tips for Louth homeowners

Make sure your pipes don't freeze this winter

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

IDDT Frozen Pipes

Take measures to ensure your pipes don't freeze this winter

Homeowners in Co Louth are being advised to take precautionary measures to safeguard their homes as temperatures continue to plummet.

Home insurance brokers, www.insuremyhouse.ie, have reported that thousands of homes around the country have allowed their home insurance policies to lapse.

The home insurance experts say there was a surge of people trying to get home insurance quotes in the lead up to hurricane Ophelia in October 2017. Calls from anxious homeowners increased by 65%.

And as a big freeze approaches and more snow is expected to hit the country over the coming days, Insuremyhouse.ie are urging homeowners to ensure their policies are up-to-date and to take the necessary steps to protect their homes.

Have you winter-proofed your home? 

Here are some of the company's top tips to ensure your home stays safe during the sub-zero temperatures:

  • Make sure that water pipes and water tanks in the attic are insulated with good quality lagging
  • Know where the stopcock that turns off the water is located and make sure it works.
  • If a pipe bursts turn off the water at the stopcock, switch off central-heating and any other water heating installations and open all taps to drain the system. 
  • Check the Exterior Walls of Your Home for Holes: Even small holes where cable wires or phone lines enter your home can be an entry point for freezing air. Purchase a tube of foam insulation, and close them up. Then, use weather stripping to remedy any cracks around your doors.
  • Keep Your Gutters Clean: Full gutters increase your chance of having ice form on your roof, and that's not something you want to mess with! Set aside some time to clean your gutters out before the freezing temperatures get here.

Deirdre McCarthy, home insurance expert with www.insuremyhouse.ie said:
“We know that some people allow their cover to lapse but Hurricane Ophelia really flagged just how many homes were perilously uninsured. We received a flurry of calls from homeowners all over the country, including Louth, as soon as Met Eireann flagged the hurricane’s approach.”

She continued: “This might not seem like a long time, the crux of the matter is that if their property were to be damaged or burgled during this period, they would simply not be covered, and would have to foot the entirety of the repair or replacement bill themselves.”

Insuremyhouse.ie say that taking the risk of going without cover is leaving homeowners hugely financially exposed.
 

Deirdre also had some practical advice for homeowners if their homes are affected by the bad weather

She said: “If you are unfortunate enough to suffer any property damage in the wake of a storm, ensure you contact your insurer immediately to initiate the claims process.


"If necessary, arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out to stop any damage getting worse.
Where possible keep evidence of damaged goods and/or receipt everything that you replace.

"Photographic evidence is useful. If you need to move out of your home while you are being repaired then alert your insurance provider of this."