Get Your Home Winter Ready: A Checklist

Shoveling snow during a big freeze 

Watch: Get your Home Prepared for Winter

While it’s the end of February, the cold weather is still about. So we're publishing a brand new Winter Checklist to keep your home safe. The 'Beast from the East’, an extreme cold snap, is approaching Ireland. We are likely to see some extreme wintery conditions and snow over the next few days, the likes that Ireland hasn’t seen in almost a decade.

If you are reading this in the future then you survived the Beast and you should congratulate yourself.
If you are reading this at the tail end of February 2018 then follow our guide to get your home ready for the freezing conditions.

Tip 1 - Keep your heating on
It can be expensive but remember to keep your central heating on and circulate the hot air. Opening and closing your attic trap door will help keep pipes from freezing.

Tip 2 - Disconnect and empty the garden hose
Make sure you disconnect the garden house from the spigot. If you leave the hose connected to the spigot it may trap water inside and, during freezing temperatures, may cause the spigot or the hose to burst. Similarly make sure you fully drain the hose as frozen water may cause a rupture in the hose.

Tip 3 - Lubricate key areas on your car
This may not be particularly house insurance related but it is a worthwhile tip to protect your motor vehicle in freezing temperatures. There are four key areas you should lubricate to avoid rusting or ice damage. These are; the window channels (roll down the windows fully and spray inside the gap where the window will emerge from & around the sides) then run the windows up and down a few times to spread the lubricant. The trunk and hood latch cylinders. The Door latches. Finally inject a quick spray into the door locks and insert the key, turning it a few times to spread the lubricant.

Tip 4 - Clean out your vents
Clean out all wall vents if a big freeze is incoming. If your vents are clogged and moisture gets trapped amid debris of any kind it may freeze and cause problems down the line. This may lead to black mould problems or moisture damage.

Tip 5 - Clean out the gutters
If your gutters are blocked freezing temperatures may cause an ice or snow build up within the gutters and put them in danger of collapse or block them in a more permanent fashion. Clean out the gutters if you get a chance.

Tip 6 - Get everything into the shed (or secure it if you don’t have one)
Make sure you get any expensive gardening equipment; lawnmowers, strimmers etc. into the shed or out of the elements as best you can. The same goes for tables and chairs. Get anything you don’t want to lose into the shed.

Tip 7 - Stock up on salt or sand
Salt can be a great way to melt snow in your driveway. Sand can also be very useful as it can provide traction on icy paths. Also sand is a little bit more readily purchased in bulk quantities than salt. Dishwater salt is a cheap alternative to gritting salt and usually readily available in most homes.

Tip 8 - Minimise draughts
Ensure any gaps under doors and around windows are covered or sealed as cold air coming from outside can cause pipes to freeze inside your home.

Tip 9 - Look after your pets
Not at all house insurance related but keep the family pets in mind especially if they usually sleep outside as temperatures could drop below zero. Bring them in and keep them in the hallway if possible.

Tip 10 - Protect your water pipes
Water pipes freezing can be an absolute nuisance, leaving you without running water. However if they freeze and burst it could be an absolute disaster! As well as the financial cost of replacing the pipes in your home, your belongings could be damaged. You can do a number of things to protect your pipes from the elements. Insulate your pipes using a simple DIY solution and run hot water through them. Make sure you are aware of where the stop tap/stop valve is in your home in case you need to switch the water off at the mains during a big freeze. Follow the handy 30 second videos below to find out how to do these:

Watch: How to insulate your water pipes

Watch: How to find and turn off your stop tap/valve

Watch: Get your home prepared for Winter

Don’t get caught out in the cold snap, prepare your property as best you can. The snow can be enjoyable as opposed to a massive nuisance (and even a financial kick in the teeth!). Make sure you get your home winter ready with the above checklist, and apply caution where you think it’s necessary. Stay tuned to Met Eireann for updates.


To ensure you're protected in all eventualities or alleged Beasts why not call us for a quote? Call 01 603 2999 or start your quote on our website.

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