Protecting your home from snow

How to snow-proof your home this winter

We all love a snow day. But while you’re out making the most of it, the cold weather could be causing damage to your home. 

Heavy snow can put pressure on roofing, cold temperatures can crack pipes and when the snow finally melts, water damage is a real risk. 

We handle thousands of home insurance claims relating to snow damage every year. And with the notoriously unpredictable British weather, it’s easy to get caught out. 

Here’s our guide to protecting your home from the outside to the inside. 

Outside your home

There are plenty of tasks you can get stuck into to protect your home from the outside. But be careful: remember to take care when moving around icy pathways.

  • Use a broom to remove snow build-up from low roofs 
  • Clear your gutters and drains
  • Look out for 'ice dams' – ridges of ice at the edges of your roof. If they form, chip away at them carefully if it’s safe to do so 
  • Use salt or sand to clear the snow from the ground rather than water which can freeze and create further problems

Inside your home

Freezing and bursting pipes are one of the biggest indoor risks to your home in freezing conditions. But don’t panic – there’s plenty you can do to help prevent any further damage.

If a pipe freezes:

  • Turn off the water
  • Run the taps to drain the system
  • Locate the blockage
  • Thaw with a hot water bottle or hair dryer

If a pipe bursts:

  • Turn off the water
  • Run the taps to drain the system
  • Switch off your electrics

If water is leaking from your ceiling:

  • Turn off your water
  • Place buckets beneath any leaks to catch falling water
  • Open your doors and windows to prevent mould and damp developing

Only attempt temporary repairs like this if it’s safe to do so. And if in doubt, contact your insurance company. They can advise on the best course of action and help organise professional help if you need it.

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