Preparing your home for winter

Winter is rapidly approaching and along with it comes certain hazards for you and your home. To ensure you  continue to have a hassle free letting we have prepared some advice and checks that we recommend you undertake. These should ensure that you get through winter without any problems and continue to enjoy your home.

1. You should also make sure you know where your stop cock is and how to turn it off.

2. Keep the central heating on low overnight and open the loft hatch to let warm air circulate.

3. Check the amount of insulation in your property and consider adding more. Ensure your pipes are lagged to avoid burst pipes. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that insulation could save your household around £150 a year, so you’ll soon recoup the costs – and you might also be eligible for a grant to help cover the expense. Contact your local Energy Saving Trust through its helpline on 0800 512 012 to find out more.

4. Close your curtains at dusk to keep the heat in, and make sure they are above or behind the radiator.

5. Check your home contents insurance provides cover against damage from cold weather and burst pipes.

6. If you intend to leave your house unoccupied (for more than a few days) – turn off the water supply and drain the plumbing system. If this is not possible ensure there is a low background heating on in the house when you are away. You can also pour salt down sinks, baths, wash-hand basin as this will help prevent freezing.

7. If pipes freeze – you can try to thaw them out by using warm air or warm water – beware of using electrical appliances near water as this can be dangerous. If the pipes are part of the hot water system, turn off or extinguish the source of heat (immersion heater, gas boiler, coal fire etc).

8. If a burst occurs – turn off the main water supply tap for the house. Turn on the taps in your kitchen and bathroom. Switch off the boiler and the immersion water heating system or extinguish the fire.

9. If you are going away over the festive period it is a good idea to arrange for someone to have a key to your home. It should be someone you trust and is not just for security but also to check for frost damage, including burst pipes.

10. During winter keep the central heating on or concentrate on keeping the main living area in your home to at least 21 degrees Centigrade.

We also ask that all able tenants keep an eye on vulnerable older neighbours, relatives and friends, who can be at greatest risk as a result of the freezing weather.