Protect your home this winter - our top tips
Winter is kicking in and the weather is worsening so to help you stay prepared, we have put together some useful information for you to remember to help protect your home.
Things you can do inside your home
- Ensure your central heating works and if need be, get your boiler serviced by a GasSafe-registered professional.
- Check your radiators, if they are colder at the top than the bottom then you need to bleed them to remove trapped air. This will save money on energy bills by making them work more efficiently.
- Set your heating to at least 10 degrees to ensure your pipes don’t freeze.
What to look for outside your property
- Cracks in your outside walls and loose or missing mortar in joints which need repointing should be fixed before the winter weather kicks in fully, if water can get into these gaps, it will expand when it freezes and damage your walls and bricks. Cracks and holes are also a way for water and cold air to get into the property and potentially cause pipes to freeze and burst.
- Fit insulation sleeves or wrapping to pipes that are susceptible to the cold, for example if your pipes are in a cold loft, basement and on or against outside walls (e.g hose pipes)
- Clear gutters of any fallen autumn leaves as they will cause blockages which may in turn mean that excess water will spill into the roof and potentially into the rooms of your house.
- Check your roof for any cracked or broken tiles that may allow water into your loft.
- Secure your gates, any loose fence panels/posts, garden furniture and other items to prevent them breaking in high winds.
- Now that the evenings are getting darker earlier, make sure your outside security lights are working.
In the event of snowfall
Snow can causes damage to roofs as it adds weight. If you do get snow on your roof, particularly flat roofs, try and remove it with a brush where safe to do so, if there has been severe snowfall then a professional should be called out. It is also advised that any snow that builds up around the edge of your property is also removed with a rake or brush to prevent it penetrating the brickwork and causing damp. It is easier to move fresh snow than snow that has become hard and compacted.
Cover your paths with salt the night before any predicted snowfall. You can also use salt to melt away any snow or ice once it is on the ground. Never use water as this will refreeze and cause black ice which can be more dangerous.