How to Prepare Your House For a Snowy Day

Snow is on the forecast? Learn how to prepare your house for snow and winter conditions, and keep your pipes and heating system healthy & working.

Children Staring out Window Looking at Snow

There's nothing more magical than waking up to the bright light of a snowy day! It certainly reminds us of childhood and simpler times full of joy!

But as an adult, running a household, snow can mean tonnes of problems, from frozen condensate pipes to the central heating not working.

If you're wondering how to protect your home when it snows, we have 10 brilliant tips for you:

1. Use the Weekend to Check Gutters and Drainage

a gutter full of leaves and a baseball

If you are a really dedicated homeowner chances are you already cleaned your drains and gutter at the end of the autumn. But if you forgot or didn't have time to do it, definitely make sure you clear them when the snowflakes start falling.

2. Seal Drafts in Windows and Doors

person putting a draught blocker in front of their door

Feeling that chilly winter breeze in the house? It's never too late to seal gaps around the window and door frames where the air is sneaking in. Most home and DIY stores have easy to use sealing agents, so all you need is a bit of spare time.

As a bonus, removing the draft will keep your home warmer and the winter bills down.

3. Cover Exterior Pipes

two hands putting a foam pipe around copper pipes

Exposed water and condensate pipes can freeze and crack, causing expensive heating and plumbing problems. Think ahead of the time and cover these as soon as you hear the first snow forecasts.

The easiest way to protect your exterior pipes is to wrap them in special insulating material or heating insulation tape.

In the worst-case scenario, if your pipes end up breaking, our R ightio plumbers are available 7 days a week!

4. Service Your Fireplace and Clean the Chimney

man lying down cleaning a chimney

If your house still has a functioning fireplace or chimney, you'd ideally want to have this serviced before the start of the winter. However, if you haven't done this yet, it is absolutely high-time to do it!

With January and February bringing snow and minimum temperatures, there really isn't any time to waste!

5. Insulate Your Hot Water Tank and Heater

water tank insulation jacket diagram

If you have a hot water tank or heater, it will cool down a lot quicker, and require more energy from the boiler to heat it. On a snowy, cold day, a good wrap around your hot water tank can save a lot of work to your boiler.

6. Invest in Dehumidifiers

person using an app to set their dehumidifier

Snow and heated houses are a recipe for damp, especially in traditional old houses. Make sure you have your dehumidifier working in your home to keep mould and damp away from your walls and ceilings.

7. Prepare For Snow With Melting Compounds

persons hand throwing salt down to avoid ice

Snowy paths can be dangerous, especially for the elderly. If you know snow is on the forecast, prepare by purchasing salt, ice melt or sand. If you put it on the sidewalks and driveway in advance, it will make snow much easier to clean, but even spreading it on top of the snow will still be helpful.

8. Find Out Where Your Stopcock is Located

person turning their stopcock

In the case of a frozen or broken pipe you'd want to shut off your water supply immediately. This is why you need to know where your stopcock (the valve that turns off the water supply in the house) is located.

This is usually below the kitchen sink but it can also be in the basement, the utility area or even outside.

9. Read the Boiler Manual

a persons hands on an instruction manual

Such a useful little booklet, yet so many of us never bother to read it. But knowing what the different error codes mean, and how to adjust the settings of your boiler can prove extremely helpful, should the snow and below-freezing temperatures affect your central heating. With the right settings you might be able to reduce your winter heating bills, and knowing what the different error codes mean could save you having to call a gas engineer.

Of course, not every boiler problem can be easily fixed and if a serious problem is detected, you should call a Gas Safe engineer. Remember, never attempt to open and fix the boiler yourself!

10. Have a Emergency Repair Phone Number Ready

Rightio logo and number

Unfortunately, once in a while the first snow can surprise the household. In such cases, it's always best to have a phone number handy, and know you can count on your local engineer to visit your house 365 days a year.

With Rightio's engineers helping households across the country, we always have a local engineer ready to help!


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