Thatched properties are considered a quintessential part of the British countryside. A traditional and beautiful sight, these properties also require a lot of upkeep and consideration. Here are some tips around looking after your thatched property to ensure your home insurance stays valid.
One of the most obvious considerations for thatched properties is fire safety. It is important to prevent fires as thatched roofs are made to withstand water which makes it hard to put out if alight.
Some key areas to consider
- Update old wiring – faulty electricals are a common cause of fires. Make sure you use a professional electrician.
- Install a fire alarm, or replace a faulty one – fire alarms give early warnings of smoke or fires. Regularly test your alarm and if you don’t have one, we recommend you install one.
- Protect your thatch – consider a fire retardant spray to help your roof resist fire.
- Add fire barriers – in the event that a fire does start, fire barriers under the thatched roof should help slow down the spread.
Wood burners are a great way of heating your home, but it is vital to keep up maintenance to remain safe. You should check that your property has a professional grade chimney and lined flue that meet strict fire regulations. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide checker and consider chimney heat monitors and alarms. It’s also important to sweep your chimney to remove build up of soot which could be a fire hazard.
Other property maintenance
As well as managing fire safety, there are a number of other areas of your thatched property that will need some attention during the winter.
- Check for cracks in the property and remember that these can widen with cold weather, particularly if it gets icy. Older properties are often vulnerable to cracking through water freezing at joins and metal flashings.
- Assess trees close to your home. Established and old trees are a risk to the property, particularly during storms.
- Use moisture traps and keep air circulating. Condensation can rot window frames and cause damp on walls, as well as mould in cupboards.
- While you should keep your home ventilated, which often means opening windows, you should balance that with keeping your house warm.
- Inspect pipes after cold weather as this is when leaks most often occur.
- Service your heating system before winter to avoid being without heating or hot water.
It is important to check your policy for restrictions and specific clauses that you need to comply with in order to keep your insurance valid (and home safe).
Tips to keep your policy valid
- Carry out vital property maintenance.
- Test your fire alarm.
- Inform your insurer of any buildings work.
- Check your policy documents for level of cover and exclusions.
It is important to remember that not all insurers will provider cover for thatched properties and specialist insurance is often required. At All Med Pro we have access to policies that cover hard to insure and niche properties. Insurers who have knowledge and expertise in a specialist area tend to offer better policies at a better price.
Speak to one of our brokers to see if we can find you a better insurance policy for your thatched property.