Is your home winter ready?

A frozen roof in winter

Winter has well and truly arrived. As temperatures continue to drop, the risk of something going wrong in your home begins to rise.

So make sure you’re prepared for any potential cold snaps, and start thinking about how you can protect your home during the winter months.

You don’t need to be a DIY expert to get your home winter ready. Here are a few simple things you can do right now.

1. Locate your stop tapLocate your stop tap

If your pipes freeze and then burst, the first thing you’ll need to do is shut off the stop tap. So it’s worth making sure you know where to find it.

The location of your stop tap can vary depending on the style and age of your home, but it’s most commonly found under your kitchen sink.

2. Protect your pipes

Protect your pipes

The best way to prevent your pipes from freezing in the winter is to protect them with a layer of foam, called lagging.

Lagging is available from most DIY stores. Simply cut a piece of lagging to length and wrap it around the pipe, securing it with cable ties as an extra measure.

3. Keep your central heating ticking over

Keep your central heating ticking over

We know that heating your home can be expensive, but a burst pipe could end up being costly too

If you can, try to leave your heating on constantly at a low temperature, especially if you’re likely to be out or you’re going away on holiday.

If severe weather is forecast, set the heating to your usual level – day and night.

4. Make sure you’re on the best energy dealMake sure you're on the best energy tariff

It always pays to check whether you’re on the cheapest energy tariff, especially during the winter months when you’ll be cranking up your heating.

Our Financial Inclusion Team can help you find the best deal for you, and provide advice on how to be more energy efficient to reduce your bills even further.

What to do if the worst happens

Frozen pipes:

  • Turn off your stop tap and check for dripping water
  • No leaks? Turn your stop tap back on and open a COLD tap nearest the frozen pipe to allow melting water to flow out
  • Find the frozen pipe and use a hot water bottle or a hairdryer to gently melt the ice
  • Never use a naked flame and keep heat away from water meters
  • Once the pipes are thawed, turn your tap on until the water is back to its normal flow
  • Insulate your pipes to prevent any more freezing

A leak or burst pipe:

Collect water from the leak – if it’s through the ceiling, collect it in a bucket. If the ceiling bulges, pierce the plaster with a broom handle to let water through.

  • Switch off your central heating
  • Turn off the stop tap and turn on the taps to drain your water system
  • Don’t touch any wiring or switches that you think may have been affected – if in doubt, turn off your electricity at the mains
  • Contact us on 0300 555 0600 and we’ll send someone out to fix it
  • After the leak has been fixed, air the affected areas by keeping doors and windows open; don’t overheat affected rooms as this could cause more damage