Winter home maintenance tips
Discover some simple ways to look after your home during the winter months.
Test your heating before winter starts
- Check your heating system is working, including your radiators. Run the heating for 20-30 minutes and check the radiators heat up as expected.
Check for problems around the house
- Make sure your gutters and drains aren’t blocked or leaking.
- Check your windows and outside doors open and shut properly.
- Check stopcock and isolation valves haven’t seized up. If they’re stiff, loosen them with WD40.
Protect your pipes if you go away for over 24 hours
- Turn off your main internal stopcock or isolation valve to prevent frozen pipes.
- Leave the heating on a low setting to prevent burst pipes.
Frozen or burst boiler pipes
Modern condensing boilers produce waste condensation, which is removed via a plastic pipe outside your home. In cold weather, this pipe can freeze and create a blockage, or cause the pipe to split, which can stop your boiler working.
Boilers typically show an error message if this happens, but you should also look out for common warning signs:
- boiler won’t turn on
- gurgling sounds when the boiler is turned on
- taps have low pressure or don’t produce as much water as normal
- toilet cistern is slow to refill.
If you have a frozen pipe
If you can safely access it, try to thaw it out before switching the boiler on again. You can either hold a hot water bottle on the frozen pipe or pour hot, but not boiling, water over it.
If you have a burst pipe
Turn off the water supply at your stopcock (this is usually under your kitchen sink or in a cupboard) and switch off any electrical plugs or appliances affected by the water. Then phone our emergency repairs team on 0300 500 8000.