Getting Your Holiday Lodge Ready For Winter
Now is the time to start thinking about getting your holiday lodge ready for winter. As the season draws to a close, we have compiled a guide to help you. These are just suggestions to help keep your lodge in good shape for when you arrive again in spring.
Conditions of your holiday lodge insurance
As a precaution to prevent freezing and any damage that may result, between 1st November and 31st March both days inclusive, if the leisure home is left without an occupant for more than 48 hours you must drain down the entire water system. If your leisure home has a sealed heating system containing antifreeze then this does not need to be drained down but antifreeze levels checked annually and particularly prior to the period of unoccupancy. In addition, all water tanks must be emptied by leaving both hot and cold taps fully open with plugs removed throughout the leisure home.
Alternatively, if you wish to leave the water supply turned on between 1st November and 31st March both days inclusive, you must ensure:
The entire home benefits from a heating system being gas or a geothermal or full electric system (not night storage heaters), fitted with automatic controls and a separate thermostat. The system must be set to operate continuously for 24 hours of each day (not controlled by a timing device) and the thermostat set to not less than 13 degrees Celsius and all internal doors must remain open throughout the leisure home and where fitted the loft hatch left open.
Or, if the heating system as described above is installed and additionally fitted with a ‘frost stat’ that is designed and installed to override all the heating controls, irrespective of their functional status, then this may be set to operate at no less than 4 degrees Celsius.
Refer to your policy booklet for further details.
Preparing the interior of your holiday lodge
Giving your holiday lodge a thorough clean and tidy before the winter will help to keep it in condition for your return.
- Flush the toilet, disinfect and clean it thoroughly.
- Flush sterilising fluid through water pipes. If you have a hot tub follow manufacturer’s guidelines to flush and drain it.
- Flush out drain pipes with disinfectant fluid.
- Remove all soft furnishings, rugs and curtains to avoid the build-up of damp and mildew. Stand seat-cushions on their end to enable air-flow and make sure furniture is moved away from walls for the same reason. Occasional cushions and pillows should be removed if possible. Good air-flow helps to prevent the build-up of damp in areas where the air is still. This, in turn, helps reduce the chance of mould.
- Remove all valuable portable items such as TVs, sound-systems, games consoles and anything else that might tempt thieves while you are away. Please note that if you insure your holiday lodge with Park Home Assist, and it is left without an occupant for 30 consecutive days, any single unfixed item with a value of over £5,000 is excluded from your insurance.
- Empty out all food from cupboards and from the fridge.
- Clean the hob and oven with a degreasing detergent to make sure there are no signs of food left in the entire lodge. Vermin are attracted by the smallest morsel in the winter.
- Clean the fridge and thoroughly defrost the freezer. Turn them off and leave the doors ajar to enable air-flow and reduce the risk of mould.
- Clean and leave open cupboards and internal doors, to maximise air-flow.
- However, leave large cupboard and wardrobe doors closed to prevent them warping in the colder weather.
- Disconnect any gas cylinders and store them in a secure, dry place a safe distance away from your lodge.
- Make sure your vents are clear both inside and out. This is especially important where your heating is gas-powered and is going to be left on for the winter.
- Finally, check all the windows and doors are closed and safely secured and that nothing is trapped in the seals.
Exterior of your holiday lodge
- Now is a good time to give your lodge a thorough external clean, so that it’s ready for the winter months. There are specialist products designed to prevent further build-up of dirt but soapy water will suffice in most cases.
- Check external seals on doors, windows and skylights. Look to replace any you find that are corroded or damaged so that they can protect your holiday lodge from the worst of the winter weather.
- Check your anchor points, if your lodge has any, and if you have access, give your chassis a once over. If you find signs of corrosion or damage it is best to get it fixed and treated before winter comes. This avoids leaving you with much bigger problems and expense in the spring.
- Take a stiff brush and some oxygenated bleach (which is kinder to plants) to your decking areas and pathways, to prevent the build-up of hazardous debris and slime.
- Check your shed is secure if you have one.
- Store garden furniture away so that it is not blown around in storms, potentially causing damage to your lodge or that of a neighbour. Check storage boxes, fences and other potential hazards for anything that might come loose in high winds. Secure and mend whatever you find.
- If your lodge is particularly exposed to the elements, you may want to remove any aerials you have on the roof. Certainly make sure that they are secure.
- Check the roof, guttering and sides of your holiday lodge for any loose or damaged panels or pipes and replace or secure where necessary.
- Lastly, check the surrounding trees and bushes for loose limbs. Remove any hazardous limbs if it possible for you to do so safely. If you are still concerned, make sure you inform your park management verbally and in writing. Keep a copy of all correspondence for insurance purposes.
Remember to keep a record of any work that is carried out or changes that are made. This is good practice in any case for insurance purposes. In the unfortunate event that you do need to make a claim, a clear set of records backed up with photographs can be invaluable. Taking steps to get your holiday lodge ready for winter in good time, should help to make the process is easier and prevent any nasty surprises in the spring.
This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi award-winning providers of holiday lodge insurance. If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your holiday lodge, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.
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