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Now that the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, the focus shifts from al fresco dining to cosy nights in! Autumn and winter can still provide great opportunities for relaxing and enjoying your park home, whether it’s pub lunches, countryside walks, wildlife spotting or a bracing stroll along the beach. Now’s a good time to plan ahead and take a few precautions to ensure that your park home is protected against the winter weather and still provides a cosy retreat.

Ten tips for preparing your park home for winter

  1. Check your roof and repair or replace any broken tiles
  2. Clear drains and gutters to avoid any blockages – do this regularly if you’re surrounded by trees as leaves and debris can build up quickly
  3. Visit the environment agency website to check if your park home is at risk of flooding
  4. Install insulation to prevent heat escaping through the roof
  5. Have your boiler checked to identify any issues before it gets too cold
  6. Keep your park home warm and the heating on whenever you can to avoid frozen pipes – see our blog post about preventing escape of water from your park home 
  7. Be sure to know where your stopcock is in case you need to turn off the water in your park home quickly
  8. Repair any dripping taps
  9. Seal any gaps around the edges of doors and windows to prevent draughts – but still try to maintain some ventilation
  10. If you’re not going to be staying in your park home as often, then check your park home insurance policy for clauses relating to unoccupancy. You can review Park Home Assist Park Home Insurance policy documents here

Taking these simple steps could help to avoid the stress and hassle of having to make an insurance claim. It is also worthwhile saving your insurance provider’s contact details on your phone in case of an emergency.

Wrap up well and stay safe and warm this winter.

As we approach the winter, the risk of damage to your park home from frost and ice increases. It is therefore very important to be aware of any conditions of your park home insurance policy, especially if you are spending less time at your park home.

If your park home is unoccupied for more than 48 hours during the period between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive) to reduce the risk from escape of water, and in order to fulfil policy conditions, we recommend that you drain down the entire water system as a precaution to prevent freezing and any potential damage this may cause.

How to drain the hot and cold water system of a combi boiler

  • Turn off and/or extinguish your water heater/boiler
  • Turn off the mains water supply at the entrance to your park home
  • Run all the taps in the property and flush all toilets until water stops coming out
  • If you have a hot water cylinder, empty it by opening the drain-cock at its base, attach a hosepipe to the drain-cock and run the water into a drain or bucket
  • Empty the rising main, and any low pipework if applicable, by opening their drain-cocks
  • When all water tanks are empty, leave both hot and cold taps fully open with plugs removed throughout your park home
  • Put salt into the toilet pans to prevent water in the trap from freezing 

If your park home has a sealed heating system containing antifreeze, then the heating system does not need to be drained down, but antifreeze levels must be checked annually and particularly prior to a period of unoccupancy. However, you will still need to turn off the water supply and drain the water system. 

When can the water supply remain on?

Alternatively, you may leave the water supply turned on under the following circumstances:

  • When the entire home benefits from a heating system (either gas or oil-fired central heating, a geothermal or full electric system – not night storage heaters), which is 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. In addition, all internal doors must remain open throughout the park home and where fitted, the loft hatch must be left open.
  • When your park home has either a gas or oil-fired central heating system, a geothermal or full electric system and it is fitted with a ‘frost stat’ that is designed and installed to override all the heating controls, irrespective of their functional status, then this must be set to operate at no less than 4 degrees Celsius.

Other things to consider

If you leave your park home without an occupant for 60 consecutive days or more, then you must ensure that a responsible person is appointed to supervise and check the property both internally and externally at least once every 30 days.

In addition, when the park home is left without an occupant for 60 consecutive days then valuables are excluded from your park home insurance cover.

If you have any queries about the conditions of your park home insurance policy, then visit our park home insurance FAQs page, see our park home insurance policy booklet or call our customer service team on 01604 946 722.

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