House of horrors - Churchill warns households not maintaining their home could be costly

13th September 2010

New research* from home insurer, Churchill, has revealed that householders face big repair bills as they are not maintaining their homes. The results show that 49 per cent of householders do not clear or clean their gutters and downpipes, which if left, could cause extensive water damage to bricks, rot windows and cause damp.

Worryingly, 68 per cent of households that already have damp do not dry out affected areas or use a dehumidifier. As well as damaging the property, damp areas encourage mould and can increase the risk of illness. The research also revealed that 42 per cent of homeowners do not service their boiler. Not only could this lead to a breakdown but it can also result in more expensive gas bills.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said: "It is easy to ignore your boiler and central heating in the summer months, but you should make sure they are in good working order. Don't wait until the weather turns cold before having the boiler serviced. Release the air from the radiators if necessary and clean out any grilles.

"Do a top-to-toe inspection from the floor to the roof space. Look for signs of leaks in your attic, making sure that timbers are free from damp and woodworm. Check that pipes and tanks are fully lagged. From a cost and environmental point of view, it's good to have at least four inches of loft insulation."

Churchill reveals vital maintenance jobs households are ignoring:

  • 68 per cent of homeowners whose home has damp do not dry out/ de-humidify the damp areas
  • 62 per cent of homeowners with a tile or slate roof do not look at the roof closely for loose tiles/ slates
  • 49 per cent of homeowners with their own roof do not maintain or clean their gutters and downpipes
  • 42 per cent of homeowners with central heating do not get their boiler serviced
  • 38 per cent of homeowners with central heating do not bleed their radiators
  • 19 per cent of homeowners with smoke alarms do not check them on a regular basis

Scott concludes, "Keeping your home in a good state of repair is essential, as home insurance does not cover general wear and tear."

For more information please contact:

Claire Foster
Churchill Insurance Press Office
Tel: 020 8285 8682
Mob: 07900 217 264


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting