10 simple ways to winter-proof your home and garden

10 simple ways to winter-proof your home and garden

Follow our top tips to protect your home and garden from cold weather.

Don’t let burst pipes and blocked gutters dampen your Christmas spirit… or the interior of your home. 

By making a few small changes and improvements in and around your house, you can make sure the cold weather doesn’t leave you without heating or water this winter.

Here are our top tips to help you to beat the freeze:

1.   Lag your pipes

Uncovered pipes in cold areas of your home can become frozen, leading to potential bursts. Prevent this from happening by applying lagging to pipes which are exposed to the cold. If your pipes do freeze, thaw them using some warm towels and a hot water bottle. 

2.   Fix taps and check for leaks

A dripping tap not only wastes water, but also makes your pipes more likely to freeze during winter. A trickle of water can become completely frozen, resulting in a block or even a burst. Prepare for winter by fixing any leaks before temperatures begin to drop. To spot a leak in your home, look out for a drop in water pressure or damp patches. If you're a metered customer, you can check for a leak by turning off your internal stop tap and if the meter dial stops turning you may have a leak.

3.   Locate your stop taps

You should locate and test your stop tap before winter begins so that you know how to turn off your water supply just in case a burst occurs. They are usually located beneath the sink and can be switched off by being turned clockwise.

4.   Insulate your loft

A lot of cold air can enter your home through your attic or loft if it isn’t insulated correctly. By taking the time to properly insulate your home, you can ensure your home stays warm while also reducing your heating bills.

5.   Bleed your radiators

If your heating is on and the top of your radiator is cold, then it most likely needs bleeding. Use a key to release any trapped air in your radiators and keep a cloth nearby to catch any water that drips from the valve. Please be aware that depending on your type of central heating, once you've bled your radiators, your boiler pressure may drop, potentially resulting in it needing to be repressurised. 

6.   Draught proof your doors and windows

Draughty doors and windows could be the reason your home feels so cold during winter. You can fix this problem by applying weatherstripping to your window and door frames, as well as using door sweeps to prevent cold air from sneaking in!

7.   Clear gutters and drains

Gutters play an important role in carrying water away from your house and preventing water damage. It’s a good idea to remove any leaves or debris from your gutters to ensure they are working properly, preparing them for future downpours.

8.   Install a water butt

When winter begins, rainfall tends to increase. Take advantage of the wet weather by installing a water butt to collect rainwater. When summer comes around, you can then use this water to maintain your garden and wash your car.

9.   Cover your outdoor taps

A frozen outdoor tap can be easily avoided by using an outdoor tap cover. You can pick these up from most DIY stores – they will help to ensure you have a constant flow of water, even when the weather is freezing!

10.   Secure your garden

The UK’s weather is unpredictable to say the least, so you should prepare for all weather conditions. Make sure items in your garden that could be moved by strong winds are stored away securely to prevent damage to your home and vehicles.

More information about what to do if your pipes freeze can be found on our cold weather advice page.

Written by

Tom Thomson

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