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The most common Christmas household disasters unveiled

Household disasters happen, even over the festive period, with leaking roofs, burst pipes and broken boilers among the most common mishaps during the winter months, according to new research.

Fresh data shows the most common household disasters builders have been asked to deal with around Christmas, with findings revealing that almost 90% of builders have been called out to fix leaking roofs, nearly half have been asked to fix burst pipes and a third have been asked to repair a broken boiler.

Three quarters of builders have been called to fix leaking chimneys – an important job to make sure Father Christmas stays dry, the study, undertaken by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), found.

The most common issues builders have been asked to deal with in and around Christmas are as follows:

1) 86% of builders have dealt with leaking roofs;

2) 74% of builders have fixed leaks from defective lead flashings and apron to chimney stack;

3) 51% of builders have repaired damage caused to the property because of blocked gutters;

4) 47% of builders have dealt with leaking windows;

5) 44% of builders have dealt with burst pipes;

6) 37% of builders have dealt with leaking doors;

7) 33% of builders have arranged for a broken boiler to be fixed;

8) 29% of builders have fixed damage caused to the property by falling branches from trees;

9) 24% of builders have arranged for electrical wiring to be fixed.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The festive period is a busy time for builders. They are regularly called out to fix leaks, burst pipes and broken boilers over the Christmas period, with leaking roofs topping the list.”

He added: “Christmas is a costly time of year and the last thing homeowners want to spend their money on is emergency home improvement work.”

To prevent these issues from occurring, Berry advises that homeowners and landlords carry out a simple programme of maintenance, and that includes ensuring boilers are serviced and checked in advance of the Christmas holidays to avoid any breakdowns.

If your tenants are going away over Christmas it’s a good idea to ask them to leave the heating on low to prevent pipes from bursting in cold weather.

And finally don’t forget to check the roof for any loose tiles or slates to avoid a leaking roof.

Berry continued: “These preventative measures should limit the number of homeowners who have unnecessary headaches over the festive period. However, if homeowners do need to hire a builder, they should use the FMB’s ‘Find a Builder’ service.

“All new Master Builder members are vetted and independently inspected upon joining so consumers can be assured that they will be working with a professional builder.

“Even with a maintenance programme in place, unavoidable jobs might still crop up over the Christmas break. For example, we know that three quarters of builders have been called to fix leaking chimneys – a vital job to ensure that Father Christmas can make a smooth and dry entrance on Christmas Eve.”

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