Home and living

How to prepare your home for winter

As we approach the winter months, the changing weather conditions can cause damage to your home. However, with a few easy steps you can prepare your property for the long, cold months ahead.

Keep an eye out for damaged water pipes

As the cold weather sets in, the water in your pipes may freeze causing them to burst. Not only could this cause a lot of expensive damage, but it may mean you have to move out whilst the repairs are undertaken.

  • Keep an eye on any cracks or holes that may appear in the outside walls that might let cold air make its way to your pipes. Seal up any gaps before they become a larger issue.
  • Keep the heating at a low level (above 4°C) even when you’re away from the property, as this will help maintain a consistent temperature around the pipes.

Property health check

Now that your pipes are well looked after, there are a few other easy things you can do to prepare for the winter that may save you some hassle further down the line:

  • Keep your gutters clear of the falling autumn leaves. The leaves can block your drains and gutters, causing a build-up of water that may eventually make its way into the property.
  • Damp can also be an issue during the colder months. To prevent warm air and steam entering colder rooms, close the kitchen door whilst cooking. Dry your clothes outside to prevent any dampness in the air.
  • Service your boiler - check that the pilot light is on, and re-light it if necessary. Instructions on how to do this will be in the boiler manual, or on the side of the boiler itself. It may also be worth having your boiler serviced by a Gas Safety registered engineer. This will ultimately give you peace of mind, as leaking carbon monoxide is a risk at any time of the year.
  • Bleed your radiators– if they’re colder at the top than they are at the bottom, chances are there’s some air trapped inside. Not only will bleeding your radiators allow them to heat your home more effectively, but you may save some money on the heating bills.

Check your home insurance documents

A lot of people experience issues with their property throughout the winter months, so unsurprisingly this is when a lot of people need to make a claim under their home insurance policy. Check that you have sufficient cover in place, and that you understand what cover is provided under your policy. It’s also worth ensuring you know who you need to contact, and what you’ll need to provide to your insurer if you do need to make a claim.

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