UK snow alert: how to protect your home from ice and snow

The Met Office forecast of snow across the UK and freezing weather both pose challenges in terms of potential damage to homes.

The Met Office has already issued a yellow warning for snow and ice, with more areas in the Midlands, much of Wales and the south-east including London on Tuesday morning on snow alert as arctic air sweeps across the country.

As conditions worsen over the week and thick snow is set to cover several areas, homeowners could face hefty repair bills if they don’t protect their homes, experts warn.

Snow and ice can devastate homes, from frozen and burst pipes to roof leaks from heavy snow on the roof, all of which could result in costly repair bills, experts say.

“Winter weather will always present a challenge for our homes, but with spring just around the corner, cold snaps can be unexpected and many people may be unprepared for the damage cold weather can do to properties,” said Natalie White, director of Brand communication on the craftsman platform Rated people.

However, Ms White says a few simple steps can weatherproof your home to avoid paying an unexpected and unwanted repair bill.

Here’s how to avoid costly repair bills and protect your home from the upcoming cold snap:

Check your roof

A broken or missing roof tile is a common cause of potential leaks. Ahead of the winter season, it’s important to check your roof for damage, such as missing or broken roof tiles, according to the Met Office.

Rated People experts suggest that you can usually spot any problems by walking around your home and looking at your roof. If you notice any damage, ask a local dealer to investigate further and fix the problem for you.

Remove snow from roofs

If you’ve been hit by heavy snowfall, it’s important to clear the snow off your roof as soon as possible, experts say.

Heavy snow can put excessive pressure on the roof structure, especially on flat roofs. This can lead to sagging ceiling boards, cracks in walls and leaking roofs, all of which are telltale signs that your roof is struggling with the weight and could collapse.

To remove snow from your roof, you can use a snow rake to scrape the snow off your roof onto the ground as early as possible, suggests Rated People. However, it’s best to leave a small amount of snow on your roof so you don’t damage your roofing materials when raking.

Knowing what to do in the event of a power outage

As the country faces unpredictable weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, it is important to be prepared for a possible power outage. Forecasters say some rural areas could face disruptions to power and phone services this week.

The Met Office recommends homeowners have their Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) number available, which can be easily reached by dialing 105.

Continue here what to do in the event of a power failure.

Have your boiler serviced and bleed your radiators

Cold spots in your system are more prone to damage in cold weather, experts warn Rated peopleAs such, you should have your boiler serviced regularly to ensure it can withstand cold snaps.

Bleeding radiators eliminates air pockets in the pipes that can increase pressure on the boiler.

All you need is a radiator wrench and an old piece of cloth to soak up any water that leaks out. To find out if you need to bleed your radiators, just put your hands on your radiator and if you feel cold spots you should bleed them.

Insulate your pipes

To keep the inner and outer pipes from freezing in freezing temperatures, you can protect them with a pipe jacket, ie a foam tube that insulates the pipes.

You can install it yourself or hire a specialist to do it.

Focus on heating drain pipes, overflowing outer pipes and inner pipes in the colder areas of your home, such as basements, garages and attics, and water tanks.

Clean your gutters regularly

Another important task in protecting your home from snow and ice damage is to clean your gutters regularly. When gutters become clogged with debris, the weight of ice buildup can pull the gutter away from your home and permanently damage your roof.

To avoid leaves accumulating in the gutter, it’s best to prune your trees before winter really sets in, says the Met Office. This can also help prevent snow from accumulating on the trees, which poses the risk of damage from broken branches.

When your gutters are damaged, there’s no place for melting snow, leading to leaks in your home when temperatures rise, suggests Rated People.

To avoid these problems, clean your gutters before the winter season and remove any debris, leaves, or twigs. This will ensure that melting snow has a clear path to exit the gutters and will not damage your home.

Make your rooms draught-tight

It is important to keep your home warm during the winter season to avoid possible damage. Sealing your rooms against drafts can help prevent heat loss and keep your home warm and comfortable. You can use draft excluders to prevent heat loss and seal any gaps in your window frames to prevent drafts.

A quick temporary solution to drafts is to use rolled up blankets and towels. This is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent heat loss and keep your home warm during the winter season.

Make sure you are insured

The Met Office recommends homeowners make sure their building’s insurance policy is up to date and covers what they need.

This is especially important if you live in an area prone to harsh weather conditions. Adequate insurance coverage can help you recover financially if your property is damaged by weather-related events such as storms, heavy snowfall or flooding.

With the right insurance, you can have peace of mind and take care of your home and belongings in an emergency.

It’s also important to note that many insurance policies have exclusions, so it’s important to read the policy terms carefully to ensure you’re fully covered for weather-related damage to your property. UK snow alert: how to protect your home from ice and snow

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