Be cosy, warm & dry

Ten checks for a trouble-free winter

Preparing for winter can make a huge difference to both your comfort and finances. And it doesn’t have to be hard work. Simply follow our ten checks for a trouble-free winter and you’ll be equipped to stay cosy, warm and dry whatever the weather.

  1. Guttering and drains
    Clearing out any leaves and debris that could cause a blockage ensures that rain and melting snow will be able to flow away from your home. If you have to climb a ladder, make sure there’s someone to hold it steady.

  2. The roof and exterior walls
    Check the roof from ground level for any potential problem signs like loose or missing tiles. Then examine exterior walls for cracked, loose or missing pointing or rendering. If you find any, have it repaired before water can get in.

  3. The boiler and radiators
    Bleeding radiators is one of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of your heating. It’s also a good idea to have your boiler serviced by a registered engineer to ensure it is ready for its busiest time of the year.

  4. Chimneys
    If you use an open or wood burning fire, then you should have the chimney and flues swept every year. This will clear the potentially dangerous build-up of soot and any obstructions that may have occurred over the warmer months.

  5. Windows and doors
    Faulty seals around windows and doors allow warm air to escape and cold air to get in. Blocking these draughts can make a big difference, while using a draught excluder at the bottom of doors is also an effective measure.

  6. Insulation
    As heat rises it’s a good idea to check the loft to see whether you need to add further insulation. Also, lagging pipes and water tanks will prevent heat escaping and reduce the risk of damaging ice forming.

  7. Locks on doors, windows and gates
    Check all locks are secure and in good working order to prevent gates from swinging open and causing damage in blustery weather. Applying a drop of oil will help to stop hinges and bolts from seizing too.

  8. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
    You should check all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every six months to make sure they are functioning correctly and not low on battery power. It’s a quick job that will give you lasting peace of mind.

  9. Are you well stocked?
    Most power cuts happen in winter. So, in the event of one occurring in the dark, having a torch, candles and matches in an easy-to-reach place will make it so much easier to deal with.

  10. Do you have a list of useful numbers in case of emergency?
    Having all your emergency contact numbers, including your insurer, together in one place means you won’t have to go looking for them in an emergency.

If you are unsure about carrying out any of these checks then please consult an appropriate and trusted tradesperson.