5 Top Tips for Avoiding Cold Weather Damage to your Home this Autumn

Laura Simpkins

by Laura Simpkins

19/09/2023, in Design Hints and Tips | Main Blog

As we receive news of the first frost of the year, it’s time to think about our homes and what we can do to protect them from the cold weather.

Many of the properties owned by our clients are older, poorly insulated houses or bungalows. When you design an extension or loft conversion, we recommend you future-proof your home for cold winters by considering the highest performance insulation and heating options that you can afford.

But if you aren’t at that point yet and want to do something on a smaller scale, here are five top tips for you…


Prevent frozen pipes


1. Prevent Frozen Pipes

One of the most common and potentially costly issues during the colder months is frozen pipes. According to a report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the UK sees an average of over 3,500 claims for burst pipes each day during winter.

To prevent this, it’s advisable to have your heating on for at least an hour a day, especially during freezing temperatures. This practice helps to keep the pipes from freezing. Additionally, make sure you can locate your stopcock, typically found under the kitchen sink or where the mains water supply enters your home.

In a survey conducted by HomeServe, it was revealed that nearly 30% of homeowners in the UK didn’t know the location of their stopcock. Knowing its whereabouts is crucial in case you need to turn off the water supply during a pipe freeze. If you’re too late and your pipes have already frozen, try thawing them slowly with something like a hot water bottle.


Check your radiators


2. Check Your Radiators

Efficient heating is essential in the battle against cold weather.

Bleeding your radiators can significantly improve their performance and help you save on energy bills. According to the UK government’s Energy Saving Trust, bleeding radiators removes excess air in the system, allowing hot water to flow freely and heat your home evenly.

A clear sign that bleeding your radiators is necessary is when you notice that they’re not heating evenly, with the warmth not reaching the top of the radiator. By taking this simple step, you can ensure your heating system operates at its best during the colder months.


Watch out for Condensation


3. Watch Out for Condensation

Condensation is a common issue during the autumn and winter seasons. It occurs when warm indoor air comes into contact with cold surfaces, leading to moisture buildup. This can create a damp and damaging environment in your home, including peeling paintwork and even mould growth. Take a look at our deep dive into dealing with condensation.

The solution is proper ventilation.

According to the UK government’s advice on reducing condensation, opening windows for a short period each day can help, even during colder weather. Additionally, make use of extractor fans when showering or cooking to expel moisture-laden air outside.

These simple practices can go a long way in maintaining a dry and healthy living environment.


Clean your Gutters


4. Clean Your Gutters

Blocked gutters can cause numerous problems with rainwater drainage, potentially leading to leaks and damage to your property. Autumn is the perfect time to check for leaves and debris that may have accumulated in your gutters.

Leaves and debris can cause gutters to become clogged, which can result in overflowing rainwater that can damage your home’s exterior. Ensure your gutters are draining efficiently to prevent water from seeping into your walls or foundations.


Deal with draughts


5. Deal with Air Leaks and Draughts

Air leaks and draughts can significantly reduce the efficiency of your heating system and make your home feel much colder than it should. When considering long-term benefits, think about replacing older and ill-fitting doors and windows.

New windows and doors come with greatly improved thermal retention features designed to keep your home warmer. According to the Energy Saving Trust, draught-proofing your home can save you up to £25 a year on energy bills. So, investing in these upgrades not only makes your home more comfortable but also helps you save on heating costs in the long run.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your home remains cozy and protected during the chilly autumn and winter months. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in safeguarding your property and ensuring your family’s comfort throughout the season.