The 12 step essential guide to protecting your home from cold weather damage

Protecting your home from the elements is an important activity

Winter brings with it cold challenges

Winter brings with it much colder weather, and with it the need to consider how to best keep your home damage or disaster free, during the periods of freezing weather. There are more challenges for homeowners and their homes. With freezing weather being just one. The damage that freezing weather can cause to a property can costs thousands to repair, demand huge resources and time, disrupt routine life for the homeowner and their families and certainly reduce the value of the property at resale. We have put together this 12 step essential guide, to reduce the risk of damage to your home, during the colder months.

1. Draft prevention

Protect from drafts, by having your loft insulated, nearly a quarter of the heat in your home can be lost through convection via the loft, use draught blockers for pipes, loft-hatches, skirting, windows, external and internal doors.

2. Service appliances

Close the doors to rooms that are not being heated, ensure your appliances are serviced as per the operating manual scheudule, ensure a certified trade professional e.g. a British gas engineer for water heaters, boilers and radiators for bleeding does the work and provides the certification document.

3. Radiators

Do not block radiators with furniture, as this will reduce their effectiveness at heating rooms.

4. Thermal jacketing

Check thermal jacketing around the hot water storage tank (if appropriate) and piping connected to the tank; it should be at least 75mm thick.

5. Ventilation

Do not block ventilation grills and airbricks, as they are required to be un-obstructed in order to manage the energy performance of the property.

6. Guttering

Check your gutters, clear leaves and any debris from them in the warmer months, if snow or icy conditions hit water will not flow through them as the water freezes it forms extra mass and density, putting strain on the structural integrity of the property. I f in any doubt contact a qualified tradesperson in clearing gutters, through they will be able to do it for you. Do not risk doing it yourself.

7. External insulation

Insulate pipes in garages, annexes, or any external building.

8. External water facilities

If there are any internal valves running external water facilities, turn them off and then open the external water tap and let the residual water run out.

9. Central heating

If you are away for any period of time, set the central heating to come on for a short window of time every day, this will prevent pipes from freezing.

10. Freezing pipe detection

Regularly check piping and taps in your home, if little or no water flows this may be a sign that water is frozen in the pipe. Locate the mains water stopcock, make sure it turns on and off easily, if your pipes do freeze turn off the stopcock and thaw them out with either hot water bottles, a hair dryer or hot towels. Do not use a heat gun or blowtorch.

11. Fireplaces and chimneys

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace and chimney in your home, arrange for a qualified tradesperson chimney sweep to remove soot, blockages, bird’s nests and creosote. This will ensure the room is well ventilated.

12. Carbon monoxide detection

Check carbon monoxide detectors are also working, change batteries every 12 months and replace the device every 10 years.

It is important that you take the necessary preventative steps to protect your home form cold weather damage. At find different tradesmans like plumbers, builders, insulators, gutter cleaners etc, to help with your property protection from cold, activities. 10 Essential tips to help you choose a plumber which supports helping, you find a plumber that can help with protecting your watersystem from cold weather damage.

About the Author

Tom Cakebread
Hi, I'm Tom I enjoy writing about the trades, and supporting tradespeople and customers where I can as an independent consultant.