Homeowners have been urged to carry out these five tasks to protect their properties in 2024. 

Winter weather can wreak havoc on our homes (and our finances) whether its blocked gutters, frozen pipes or leaking roofs.

As we welcome a new year and look forward to spring cleaning our properties, a team of home insurance comparison experts have issued a crucial checklist of new year home improvements it recommends.

The checklist follows news that a quarter of people don’t know that a lack of maintenance, or ‘tender loving care’ for their property could actually void their home insurance.  

A recent survey found 23% said they had no idea that if their property was damaged and there was evidence of lack of care that their insurance is unlikely to protect them.

Many vital elements of a property need serviced at least once a year so January is a good time to kick off the new year by ensuring the home is healthy and ready for 2024. 

Helen Rolph, home insurance comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk says:  “January is a great time of year to get your house in order, the decorations are cleared away and people want a fresh start, it’s ideal timing to tick off our checklist of key items in the home that need some extra TLC.

“Over the winter it can be tricky to keep an eye on what’s happening to your property, with the cold and dark evenings but we would urge people, when they get daylight hours at the weekend, to give the property a proper inspection.

"Ideally check roof tiles, gutters and pipes and start booking up appointments to service key items like the boiler and the chimney to make sure the house is safe. 

“I know January can be tough, with 39% saying it’s their most stressful month financially but homeowners need to safeguard their finances by making sure their insurance policies are intact and their home is protected. 

"A lack of maintenance to the property could risk invalidating the home insurance should they need to make a claim, leaving homeowners vulnerable.”

5 household checks to carry out this January

Here is your January checklist of 5 key tasks to do this month, according to the team at Quotezone.co.uk:

Check and service the boiler

Boilers require regular maintenance by a professional to make sure they are safe and efficient.

December is the most common month for boiler breakdowns so homeowners need to make sure it’s serviced. 

Some home insurance policies include boiler repair / replacement but chances are you have to add it as an extra – if it’s been years since your boiler was serviced and it breaks down, your insurance may not cover you as it wasn’t looked after properly. 

Check and sweep the chimney

A chimney needs to be swept at least once a year to keep it safe and reduce the risk of fire, chances are over Christmas there were lots of cosy fires lit, adding to the soot build-up.

A lack of care and maintenance to a property can render the home insurance invalid. 

Check and clear the gutters

Blocked drains and pipes can lead to excess water, causing leaks, damp and flood damage. 

Your gutters need to be checked regularly and cleared at least once a year to ensure rainwater is carried away from the building and down into the drains – any damage sustained to the property as a result of blocked gutters and drains could see your policy invalidated due to lack of maintenance.

Recommended reading

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How to dry your clothes in winter without a tumble dryer

Check and seal the roof

The stormy Christmas season could leave you with broken or missing roof tiles and slates, check for any issues and have them sealed as soon as possible to prevent leaks and water damage.

Check and insulate pipes

Many people love a break from the heat in January but you need to make sure if you’re away on holiday that the unoccupied details are accurate on your home insurance.

If a frozen pipe bursts while you’re away for two weeks and your policy only covers you for seven unoccupied days, then you may not be protected. 

It might also be sensible to check key water pipes have insulation before jetting off.