British homeowners have been urged to carry out these four checks of their homes as winter arrives. 

With plummeting temperatures and months of wind and rain ahead, many of us will be ready and raring to hibernate until Spring arrives. 

However, before we do, it is important to ensure our homes are prepared, both inside and out, for any upcoming severe and unpredictable weather conditions.

The key to avoiding either internal and/or external damage during the winter months is to prepare ahead of time, according to the experts at Yell.

The team at Yell has analysed what Brits searched for the most last winter when it came to home maintenance and has compiled a winter home maintenance checklist to help you prepare this winter.

How do I prepare my house for winter?

Check Your Roof

Searches for "roof leak' peaked at over 5000 entries last November which highlights the damage that winter weather can do to our roofs.

Yell recommends carrying out careful and regular checks promptly since your roof can receive anything from minor to extensive damage during the winter.

The experts add: "Winter storms bring heavy rain, strong winds, and snowfall which can all negatively impact your roof and your wallets if it has not been properly maintained and prepared for winter."

Yell urges homeowners to find a safe and good viewpoint whilst checking for any of the following:

  • Missing tiles
  • Blocked gutters
  • Holes
  • Debris build-up 

The team of experts also reminded Berits that missing tiles can result in water damage or leaks which can be a costly repair,

On top of that debris build-up and blocked gutters can put extra weight on your roof.

This can also lead to an increased risk of damage from high winds, rain or heavy snowfall. 

If you are unsure or would like a professional opinion on how well your roof is prepared for the winter, Yell recommends calling a professional roofing service.

Check Your Pipes To Avoid Freezing 

"Thaw frozen pipes" and “how to unfreeze pipes” also dominated searches last winter as the winter weather wreaked havoc on our properties

The experts at Yell have warned that at-home thawing of pipes can cause them to burst and you should always consult a professional. 

Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to ensure this doesn't happen: 

Ensure all pipes in your roof space or loft, as well as pipes in other areas that may be vulnerable to the cold, are insulated and your boiler is serviced.

Yell contained: "You can also add some insulation to your popes and faucets which you can either do yourself at home or call a professional plumber in to do this for you. 

"If you are heading away for the winter or you are debating not turning your heating on much this year, ensure your heating is not turned off completely but instead remains low.

"Either ensure your thermostat is set to a minimum of 18 degrees or have your heating timed to come on regularly throughout the winter to ensure the pipes are kept warm and are not at risk of freezing". 

Block Out Window & Door Draughts

Yell says that there is no easier way to save money on your heating bills than by ensuring any window and door draughts are blocked out. 

The experts added: "Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £45 a year.

"If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £65 a year".

They note that the key benefits include: 

"Draft proofing your home will vary depending on what level of proofing you need - older properties will require more draft proofing measures - but much of it can be done by the homeowners themselves," the experts at Yell continued.  

"By adding the metal brushed window and draught excluders to your frames, you will be able to keep out the cold and reduce the amount of hot air that is being lost. These can be fitted to both exterior and interior doors. 

"As well as doors and windows, keyholes and letterboxes are also big conductors of drafts so make sure to get these blocked too.

"If you are not comfortable fitting these yourself, hiring a handyman service is quick and simple". 

Check Your Heating System

Every December sees a spike in searches for “Boiler not working” in the UK - last year by 300% - according to Yell.

The experts say that is because neglected boilers are switched on in the cold weather, only to find they’ve stopped working. 

The team added:" It’s a good idea to have your furnace or boiler system checked annually by a professional, but additional checks are advised when exceptionally cold weather or storms are imminent.

These are some easy monthly checks you should do on top of your annual review:

  • Check your water pressure once a month
  • Bleed your radiators twice a year
  • Check radiator valves are open and working properly before winter comes
  • Checking for any leaks in the venting system 
  • Check if any wiring looks questionable or damaged

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If your heating system is a heat pump, make sure your outdoor unit is free from any leaves or snow.

There should be no greenery crowding the unit at any one time, the team at Yell explained.

"Technicians will also do annual checks on heat pump systems, but monthly checks and maintenance are encouraged before the winter months. 

"If you are unsure as to whether your heating system will withstand the coldest temperatures of the UK winter, calling a professional plumber is the best and easiest choice".