Majority of Brits admit to delaying essential winter home maintenance due to 'time and money'

With colder weather on the horizon, now is the best time to get ahead with ensuring your home is properly maintained before winter. However, 11% say they can't be bothered with the upkeep.

Related topics:  Finance,  Property,  Insurance,  home maintenance
Property | Reporter
6th October 2023
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"While delaying tasks might seem like a good money saving exercise, it can end up costing more in the long run. Winter weather can exacerbate existing problems, potentially leading to more costly repairs and not to mention inconvenience"
- Hazel Johnson - Aviva

Aviva is warning UK residents not to delay home tasks to help prevent costly repairs and protect their homes from damage during the winter months.

54% of Brits – equivalent to 28 million, are putting off essential winter home maintenance jobs this year with many citing time and money pressures as the reasons for delay.

According to a new survey of over 2000 UK adults from Aviva, 1 in 7 (equating to 14%) of Brits are delaying home maintenance jobs because time is an issue, while 1 in 8 people (13%) are putting off home maintenance until it “really needs doing”.

Costs are also a concern for some, with one in five saying they can’t afford home maintenance tasks. Similarly, 14% of adults would rather spend their money elsewhere this year, and 11% don’t think home maintenance jobs are that important.

Other Brits just simply can’t be bothered with the upkeep (11%) or are waiting for someone else to get the job done instead (13%).

Home maintenance jobs off the agenda for 2023

- Check the roof for cracked, broken or loose tiles (25%)
- Get water pipes insulated (24%)
- Get chimney swept (22%)
- Draught-proof home (21%)
- Bleed the radiators (20%)
- Check for leaks (20%)
- Check the gutters and downpipes to make sure they are cleared of debris (19%)
- Make sure fences and gates are secure (16%)
- Cut back overhanging branches (16%)
- Put outdoor furniture away (16%)
- Get boiler serviced (14%)

However, with autumn well and truly underway, Aviva is warning UK residents not to delay essential tasks around their homes, to help prevent costly repairs in the future and protect their homes from damage across the winter months.

12-point winter-ready home checklist:

Outside

1: Secure fences and gates. Research suggests damage to fences is the most common home issue caused by extreme weather, so it’s important to check yours are sturdy and in good repair.

2: Inspect your roof for any missing/loose tiles or slates.

3: Inspect hedges, trees and branches and get a professional in to help with any that may need cutting back.

4: Clean and store away your garden furniture to protect it from the elements. Make sure any large pieces are secure in case of stormy weather.

5: Ensure gutters and downpipes are attached securely and clear out your gutters and drains to prevent water damage. Leaves and rubbish can quickly build up and weigh gutters down – and the added weight of snow can be the breaking point.

Inside

6: Get your chimneys swept. There’s a greater risk of fire if your chimneys are full of debris, so call out the sweep before you light your fire.

7: Warm up your stove. If you haven’t used yours for a while, set a couple of low-level fires first before firing it up to the max. This will help to minimise the risk of cracking bricks.

8: Check your boiler or get your boiler serviced by a professional. It’s also a great time to think about boiler cover, in case of breakdowns during the cold winter months.

9: Bleed your radiators. This will not only increase their heat efficiency, but it’ll also save you money on your heating bills too.

10: Lag your pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting over winter. Remember to insulate your water tanks and cisterns too.

11: Insulate your loft. This can make a world of difference in stopping heat heading out through your roof. Replace damaged seals on doors and windows. An old-fashioned draft excluder can also be a great addition to keep heat in the home or in a particular room.

12: Look after your taps. It’s a good time to insulate any outdoor taps and repair any that drip.
Read your home insurance documents. Home insurance is designed to cover unexpected and unpredictable events rather than general wear and tear, so familiarise yourself with your policy so you know what’s covered and what isn’t.

Hazel Johnson, Director of Personal Lines Home & Motor Claims at Aviva, says:

“Getting your home winter-ready may not be the first thing on the autumn checklist, but the arrival of colder days and darker nights signal the perfect time to start ticking off those essential home maintenance jobs.

“While delaying tasks might seem like a good money-saving exercise, it can end up costing more in the long run. Winter weather can exacerbate existing problems, potentially leading to more costly repairs and not to mention inconvenience.

Hazel concludes: “Of course, it’s always good to have a plan B if things do go wrong, and this includes having the correct insurance in place in case you do need to claim because of unexpected winter events like burst pipes. However, with general wear and tear excluded from most home insurance policies, maintaining your home is particularly important to avoid any disappointments when trying to claim.”

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