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Winter home maintenance tips

See what you can to do look after your home during winter.

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.

See how you can fix some simple plumbing problems

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.