Prepare your home for winter

Winter can be a magical time of year but the dropping temperatures can also cause problems around your house. Make sure your house is prepared for the cold weather with our top tips and advice.

Top 3 Danger Cold Spots:

  • Outdoor water pipes and taps.
  • Pipes in unheated places like attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Buildings that may be empty for a few days, like businesses, schools or second homes.

Top Tips

Wrap up your pipes and taps

If you have pipes and taps that are outdoors, or in a cold place like a loft or garage, wrap them with insulation or a lagging kit.

Outdoor taps

Don’t leave a hose attached to outside taps. If you have one an outside tap, turn off the valve (which may be inside) and drain down the tap and pipes. This stops them becoming damaged.

Fix those drips

Dripping taps can increase the risk of frozen pipes. Fixing it will also save you litres of water every day.

Check your stop tap

Know where your stop tap is, and check that it works. You’ll need to get to it quickly, and know how to turn it off, should the worst happen.

Got a water meter?

If your meter is fitted to the wall outside your house, check that the pipes leading to and from it are insulated and there are no gaps between them, that the meter cupboard is packed with insulation material, and that the door is firmly shut.

Away from home?

Empty buildings are at particular risk. If you’ll be away from your home or business for a few days, consider turning off your stop tap and draining down the system – so there is no water in the system to freeze. Keeping your heating on low will also help keep your home warm and prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep your home cosy

Keep your home warm by using draft excluders and closing curtains at night.

Service the boiler and check your radiators are all working properly.

Insulate the loft

Insulating your loft - or topping up any insulation you already have - will help to heat your home more efficiently, save energy and reduce your energy bills. Cavity wall insulation can also help keep you home warm and cut heating bills.

Check your gutters

Check the gutters and drains are clear of leaves or debris. This will help to prevent blockages and flooding. This can also stop leaks and damage to your walls and roof.

And finally, Don’t forget your family, friends and neighbours

Help them out if they need a hand preparing – and perhaps agree to watch each other’s houses if you’re going to be away.