How to protect your home this Christmas

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As advent ticks down, our days seem to get busier and busier. With the big day only a couple of weeks away, everything gets more and more hectic - work to finish, presents to buy, menus to plan. And if you’re hosting, the stress is doubled.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the weather played ball, but in the depths of December, it rarely does. It means that it’s not just you under stress - it’s your home too. And when things go wrong at this time of year, they really go wrong.

That’s why it can take a weight off your mind to know there are people in your corner, ready to help if you need it. Great tradespeople will be available throughout the month to help with emergencies that crop up - emergencies like these:

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Frozen pipes

Devastating storms have already battered large parts of the UK, and temperatures have frequently dropped below freezing.

While cold weather at Christmas feels nice and traditional, it all poses a risk to your pipes, especially in parts of your home where they’re not properly insulated - in the garden, in garages, or in the loft especially.

If water pipes do freeze and burst it’s important to cut off your water as quickly as possible to try and prevent damage, so try and make time to locate your stopcock if you’re not sure where yours is.

If the worst happens, contact a plumber straightaway to repair the broken pipe.

Boiler on the blink

You need your boiler at this time of year to enjoy a cosy Christmas morning, but the extra workload that it takes on when the weather is cold means it’s also the most likely time for it to go wrong.

If you’ve been neglecting your annual boiler check-up, it’s worth booking one in when you can, but try and keep an eye - and ear - out for any irregularities.

Odd noises, turning itself off unexpectedly, cold patches on the radiators - all can be signs of an issue that are best addressed by a heating engineer sooner rather than later.

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Damaged guttering

Wind and rain take their toll on our homes, and it’s the humble gutter that has to handle a lot of it. Damaged guttering can be a big problem for your home, directing water onto your walls leading to penetrating damp, so it’s important to fix up any issues as quickly as possible.

If you spot a problem, get in touch with a gutter specialist as soon as possible.

Leaking roof

Most roofs would struggle to support a sleigh and eight reindeer, especially when rain and wind can do plenty of damage on their own.

Next time you come back from Christmas shopping, take a quick look at your roof to check out if there are any missing tiles, or if you’re popping up into the loft to drag out the decorations, see if there’s anything that looks out of place.

A roofer can patch up problems quickly.

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Dodgy electrics

Fairy lights on the tree, a whole host of new electronic gadgets and gizmos and kitchen appliances - we all feel like we need more plug sockets at this time of year.

It’s worth being careful though - while the worst that can happen is usually tripping an RCD, there is a fire risk with some appliances and extension cables.

If you’re worried about your home’s wiring, or you have issues, contact an electrician.

Plumbing problems

If you’re having guests round for a slap-up festive feast, it can put something of a strain on your home’s plumbing.

While it’s always useful to keep a plunger handy, it’s not always up to the task - so posting a job and finding a plumber can save the day and keep your bathrooms operational.

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Broken windows

Christmas is about cosying up inside with a warm drink and a light-hearted family favourite on the TV - snow and ice should remain outside at all times.

If howling gales or arctic breezes are creeping in through your windows, it means there’s a problem, and a window fitter is best placed to get it sorted.

Locks

If you’re in and out over Christmas, visiting friends and family, popping out for last minute supplies or heading to a panto, the last thing you need is to come home and find that you’re locked out.

If you find yourself in a bind with your locks, get a locksmith to get you back inside and back on track.

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