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WINTER IS COMING! Your step by step guide to safeguarding your holiday home in winter

09 November 2017

How do I Winterise my caravan?

With winter steadily approaching, have you began to think what will happen to your holiday home during these cooler months? If you don’t take the correct steps to winterise your holiday home whilst it’s not in use, it could have a detrimental effect on your holiday homes longevity, causing you problems in the future. But there’s no need to worry. Here at Roy Kellett Caravans, we’ve created an easy step by step guide in winterising your holiday home!

 

1. Step One of winterising your holiday home

Clean Everywhere!

The first step is to make sure you clean everywhere. Whilst this might seem obvious, in reality, no one wants to start their new holiday season with cleaning. Give each room a spring clean, wiping down surfaces and hoovering up any debris.

Make sure to empty and clean your fridge/freezer. Once the fridge/freezer is cleaned and disinfected, leave the door ajar, propped open by a clean tea towel so that the fridge dries out completely.

Whilst spring cleaning, place all soft furnishings in the centre of the room, storing away from walls and doors. Turning mattresses on their side and vacuum packing duvets, sheets and pillows will also help to keep away damp and help protect them from any dust which may collect.

 

2. Step Two of winterising your holiday home

Clear all your belongings!

Make sure to remove any valuables such as TV’s and DVD players and keep your curtains open. This not only helps to keep damp from collecting but will also act as a deterrent and  discourage thieves from breaking entry into your holiday home, as you’re making it visible you have left no valuables inside.

Don’t be tempted to leave unopened food packets in the cupboards. Whilst this may seem harmless, unopened packets of food can be an invitation for mice and other rodents, so it’s best to be safe than sorry.

Tinned goods, however, can be left within your holiday home, just make sure to line your cupboards with paper to avoid rust rings created from the damp and cold.

 

3. Step Three of winterising your holiday home

Prevention is key!

Holiday homes can be susceptible to damp, especially during the colder, wetter months, therefore doing your best to prevent damp from taking over, will go a long way. A main culprit of damp is leaves and debris getting stuck in the gutters, so keeping the gutters clean and free will certainly prevent water getting into your holiday home. You could also strategically place a few bowls of salt in each room around your holiday home, regular cooking salt will do the job as the salt acts as a deterrent and absorbs all the moisture within the air, rather than it being absorbed into your furniture.

Leave all internal doors propped open. This allows the airflow to circulate, minimising your risk of damp even further.

 

4. Step Four of winterising your holiday home

Drain down your Holiday Home!

Draining down your holiday home is an essential requirement if you want to make the most of your holiday home each season. Whilst many parks offer a service to drain down your holiday home, it is, in fact, a task which can be undertaken yourself. We’ve put together a list of steps which will help you do this yourself!

  •        Turn the water off at the stopcock. It’s advisable to check with your park office before you proceed disconnecting your holiday home from the mains.
  •        Locate any drain down taps underneath your holiday home and open them. These can generally be found underneath bathroom and kitchen areas, however, if you are unsure your static caravan holiday home handbook will provide the location. Make sure you don't confuse your water taps with the central heating taps. Whilst they may look the same, they do a complete different job. Check your handbook if unsure and label them for future reference.
  •        Within the holiday home, turn on all taps (including the shower) and leave on until the water is no longer flowing. You can also use a pump on the outside of the caravan to push any water through the non return valves in the taps.  
  •        Once the water has stopped flowing, pour a little antifreeze into all plug holes to prevent any leftover water freezing in the system and causing damage. Be sure to insert the plugs back into the sinks and shower tray to prevent any wildlife from entering the holiday home.
  •        Remove shower hose and showerhead, as these could be damaged if any leftover water freezes within them.
  •        Flush your toilet, this will empty most of the water from the cistern. Any water that is left in the toilet needs to be treated with anti-freeze.
  •        Close the toilet lid.

What about my central heating?

Your central heating system does not need to be drained down. Make sure to always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions as to how best leave the boiler over winter. If in doubt employ the services of a suitably qualified heating engineer,  the park should be able to point you in the right direction Radiators should also be left on a timer so that they regularly come on and off during the day.

 

5. Step Five of winterising your holiday home

Protect the exterior!

Give the outside of your holiday home a good clean. Removing dirt and grime which may have built up on your holiday home will make it easier to clean your holiday home upon your return in spring.

Inspect your caravan, above and below. Taking precautions such as ensuring the roof is watertight, will help you to avoid the hassle of having to conduct repairs upon your return. Although not all parks require your holiday home to be anchored, if so double check the anchoring beneath your holiday home is in good condition, examining for any rust or corrosion. Make sure your gutters are clean and free from debris, allowing water to drain freely. These are simple tasks, which will take minutes to complete but will help towards the endurance of your holiday home. If you do find any issues, it is recommended to call in a caravan repair engineer to solve them, before winter arrives.

Finish off your inspection by locking all windows and doors to ensure your holiday home is secure over the winter.

 

6. Step Six of winterising your holiday home

Check your insurance policy!

Check your insurance policy to see what you are covered for throughout the winter months. Some criteria such as draining down your holiday home and turning off the water, are essential factors in keeping your insurance valid during the winter months.

Looking for holiday home insurance? Whilst your holiday park may support certain insurers, we at Roy Kellett Caravans would recommend Arthur J. Gallagher’s Holiday Home Insurance, to protect your holiday home over the winter and throughout the year. Why not call us today on 01745 832050 to begin the process of insuring your holiday home.

We hope this easy to follow guide puts you in the best possible position to winterise your holiday home ready for when the season closes at your holiday park. Following each of these steps, will help you to preserve your holiday home for another year, allowing you to enjoy your family holidays time and time again.

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