How to protect your home against extreme weather

As Winter sets in many of us are wondering how we can protect our homes from storms, snow and ice. Cold spells can be a troublesome time, however a few simple steps will go a long way to ensure your home is protected.

Trees:

  • Check for broken or weak branches
  • Check trunk is not in danger of toppling
  • Prune smaller branches to allow wind to pass through

Fences:

  • Ensure fence panels are sturdy and replace any loose fixings
  • Ensure posts are well fixed into the ground, and replace any rotten ones

Garden Furniture and Pets:

  • Weigh down any garden furniture or move into a shed or garage
  • Move any pots or hanging baskets indoors or into a shed or garage

Roof:

  • Check for loose or broken tiles and secure when necessary
  • Try to access the loft and look for any cracks of daylight
  • Ensure the roof is correctly insulated, this will prevent snow melting into the gutters and refreezing

Windows and Doors:

  • Ensure all locks are secure and fully working
  • Ensure there are no leaks or draughts, these will get much worse with heavy rain
  • Add draught excluders or weather stripping to any doors and windows

Gutters and Drains:

  • Check there are no cracks or holes in the gutter and drainpipes, this could lead to damp inside
  • Remove any blockages from gutters, drainpipes and drains

Pipes:

  • Ensure water pipes are insulated with lagging, especially those in external walls, in lofts and those in unheated rooms
  • Try to put heating on for short busts throughout the day and leave doors slightly open to allow the heat to circulate.
  • Keep cupboard doors under any sinks open, this will allow warm air to circulate
  • If a pipe does freeze, turn off the inside stop tap and use a hairdryer to thaw the pipes slowly.
  • If a pipe bursts, turn off the mains water supply using the stopcock. If the water does not stop you will probably need to drain the cold water storage tank, which is usually in the roof space.

Brickwork:

  • Ensure there are no holes, cracks or damage to the mortar or brickwork, if water enters it will expand when frozen and cause damage.

Heating:

  • Sweep the chimney of any open fires and always use a fireguard
  • Keep electric heaters away from curtains and furniture, always unplug when you go to bed
  • Never use a hot water bottle at the same time as an electric blanket
  • Never leave lit candles unattended
  • Have your boiler serviced every year, with central heating and gas fires checked by a registered Gas Safe professional

Holidays:

  • Try to set your heating to turn on automatically for an hour a day
  • Consider turning off your inside stop tap and draining the water from the system, this will reduce and chances of pipes freezing.
  • Try to ask a neighbour or relative to visit your home to check for burst pipes.

Whether you are a landlord looking to advise a tenant on how best to protect your property or a homeowner planning for winter, please contact our friendly team for more information.



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