Preparing your home for Winter
Each winter many homes suffer burst pipes causing misery and inconvenience. By taking a few simple safety measures you can easily avoid these incidents happening in your home.
Here are a few tips to help get your home ready for the cold weather.
Stop Tap / Stopcock
Find out where the stop tap / stopcock to turn off the water supply to your home, is; you can usually find it under the sink or stairs on the ground floor. Check to see if the stop tap / stopcock works because if there's a burst pipe you'll need to turn it off quickly to prevent water damage. If you have to turn off the water supply, make sure you also switch off the boiler and the immersion water heating system if you use one. Watch our video here to find out more.
Report any dripping taps to us . Make sure that taps are turned off and ball valves and taps are repaired as they can cause waste pipes to freeze. If the weather is cold enough drips can freeze before they drain away. If left for a long time pipework can block and cause pipes to burst completely.
Heating your home
Make sure you know how to use your heating system so your home is heated efficiently. Turn your heating on and check that your boiler, room thermostat, and any thermostatic radiator valves, if you have them, are working properly. You can use the thermostatic radiator valves to turn heating down or off in unused rooms. You might need to ‘bleed’ some of your radiators if you find cold spots; if you need help doing this you can watch our handy video.
The average temperature to heat your home during winter is 18-21 Celsius. If you can turn the heating down by just 1º, it'll help towards lower bills. Heating your home is important to stop a build up of damp, you can read more tips on this, as well as how to report it, on our condensation, damp and mould page. Use the timer on your heating system to make sure you heat your home regularly and this'll help to keep the system running smoothly. If your boiler isn’t working, you may be able to sort this by simply resetting it, to do this watch this video.
If you're going to leave your home empty for more than a few days, during the winter, make sure you leave your heating on a low level so that pipes don’t freeze and burst while you're away.
If the pipes in your home do freeze you can thaw them out using warm air or hot water. Never use electrical appliances near water as this can be dangerous. Your pipes should be insulted to stop them from freezing, if they aren't, please report this to us . If the frozen pipes form part of the hot water system, turn off or stop the heat source (immersion heater, gas boiler, coal fire, etc).
Unblocking the toilet
A blocked toilet is unpleasant and it's easy to feel like you’re in a nightmare situation. Please don’t panic or just keep flushing in the hope of unblocking, as this can make matters worse by causing the toilet to flood over the floor. Take a moment and follow the steps in this simple video to tackle it or, if this doesn't work, please report it to us.
Secure your shed
Sheds can take a battering during the winter months, so make sure doors are shut and locked. Before you do this, make sure any garden furniture is stored away too. If you've any plants that are vulnerable to cold weather, or things such as hanging baskets that can be at risk of falling, you should bring these inside as well.
Home Contents Insurance
Having home contents insurance gives you peace of mind that your belongings are protected should you have a burst water pipe or leak. To help you decide whether home contents insurance is right for you, Golding has teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks and Ageas Insurance Limited who provide the My Home Contents Insurance Scheme, a specialist Tenants Contents Insurance policy. Find out more here. Please note that Golding Homes is not responsible for any loss to your home contents.
If your heating or hot water stops working please contact us as soon as possible so we can arrange an engineer to visit you.