Like most things in life, the better they are maintained the likelihood you are to get better performance and longevity. The same applies for thatched properties, insurance can protect you against many things but it is not a maintenance contract.
In relation to your thatched roof, your thatcher should be able to give you an approximate plan of expected lifespans for each part of your roof and will be able to highlight areas such as valleys and eyebrow windows etc. that you need to keep a closer eye on. If you don’t currently have a thatcher, please refer to the Find a Thatcher section of the website.
Although we can provide you advice over the phone, a good thatcher is one of the most important sources of local knowledge and information and because every thatched house and therefore roof is unique, getting the thatcher to physically look at your roof is the best option.
It is wise to take steps to guard against the problems that winter can cause.
- In the build up to the winter months, check drain gratings are clear so that water can run away.
- Any exposed pipes should be insulated and therefore protected again the effects of frost
- Loft Areas – Pipes and tanks should be insulated, but leave the space beneath your water tank free so that warm air can reach it.
Please note more comprehensive information is available within the Safety Advice pages of this website.
- Central heating systems should be regularly checked by an expert.
- Smoke alarms should be checked weekly.
- Electrical wiring should be ideally checked every 5 years – Check with your insurer.
- If you have an open fire, make sure your chimney is swept regularly and at least twice a year. Having your chimney lined is a sensible precaution and a requirement of many insurance companies.
- Check that you have the correct fire extinguishers and that they are in the correct location of the property. Also check to find out when they need checking or servicing.
Leaving the Property
If you are leaving your home unoccupied for a few days or more, consideration should be given to draining the hot and cold water system. If you have any doubts contact a local plumber.
It is also a good idea if you have a relative nearby or a trustworthy neighbour, to ask then to keep a look out for you in your absence.
Always, if you are employing the services of a tradesman or woman, make sure they have their own Public Liability Policy which should cover any damage caused by possible negligence — it is likely that your own insurance policy will not cover you so it is important to ask.
If you are concerned about any of the maintenance issues, it is always good practice to check with your insurance companies requirements first, and if you are still in doubt, you should contact them.