The cold winter months can play havoc with our homes. From frozen pipes to leaky roofs, the unpredictability and severity of the British weather can present major problems for homeowners.

Here are some simple steps to help you prepare your home for winter, along with a useful graphic to illustrate the areas of the home that should be considered.

Lag your pipes

Pipes should be insulated with pipe lagging to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Lagging also prevents condensation from forming on cold pipes. This is particularly important for pipes that are exposed to the cold weather, for example in basements, lofts, or outside spaces. 

Service your boiler

The months in the lead-up to winter are the best time to get your boiler serviced. Not only will this help ensure the boiler is working when you need it most, but with the majority of boiler breakdowns occurring in the winter, getting it fixed may take longer than usual, or cost you more should need to make an emergency callout.

Insulate walls and lofts

If you have cavity walls, these should be insulated, while roofs should have between 10-11 inches of insulation in place to prevent heat escaping. As well as keeping your home warm, insulation can significantly reduce your energy bills. 

Fix dripping taps

A dripping tap might not seem like a big problem, but can lead to bigger problems in freezing conditions, as waste pipes can become frozen and blocked.

Replace loose roof tiles or slates

Loose roof tiles or slates can become dislodged in storms or high winds. As well as causing leaks, falling tiles can be a major hazard to anyone walking below. 

Locate your stopcock (and check you can close it)

Make sure you know where your stopcock is located and that you are able to turn it without assistance, in case you need to turn off the water during a spell of freezing weather.

Clean out your gutters

The build-up of leaves, moss, and other debris can cause gutters to become blocked, which can lead to water overflowing or freezing. Prevent this from happening by cleaning out your gutters regularly. 

Secure loose objects

Objects such as garden furniture, children’s toys, or tools should be stored away to prevent them from being blown around in high winds. 

Tend to overhanging branches

Overhanging branches, large bushes, or dead trees can cause a lot of damage if they come down during a storm, or break under the weight of heavy snow – particularly when located close to your house or a neighbouring property. 

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