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Protecting your property during the winter period

Winter is here, bringing cold and icy weather with it. Although glistening rooftops and frost covered streets may look very festive, they can cause a lot of damage to a home or business, if winter preparations have not been made.

The risks

The colder months, marked by unpredictable weather patterns and extreme conditions, pose a considerable risk to property. From freezing temperatures to icy conditions, winter-related disasters can wreak havoc on buildings that are unprepared for the seasonal conditions.

Plummeting temperatures can lead to frozen pipes, causing them to burst and flood. Accumulated snow and ice on rooftops can lead to structural stress, and the combination of freezing rain and low temperatures can turn walkways and driveways into hazardous ice patches, increasing the risk of slips and falls.

Just last year, we saw the December cold snap cause widespread damage across the country, with homeowners and businesses suffering frozen pipes and water tank ruptures. This required a major disaster recovery response from specialist teams of restoration experts, to repair damaged properties, make them safe and prevent any long-lasting consequences.

Winter ready

Planning ahead and being ‘winter ready’ can safeguard your property against potential disasters. A proactive approach to winter property maintenance can significantly reduce the chance of damage, saving you from costly repairs and ensuring the safety of your building and its contents.

Here are some of our top tips for protecting your home or business:

Prevent your pipes from freezing

When the weather gets colder, unprotected water pipes can often freeze, leaving you without water and heating. When frozen, pipes are prone to bursting, which can result in severe water damage.

Pipes are most likely to freeze in unheated or uninsulated areas of the property, such as lofts, basements, and garage, but if the outside temperature drops low enough, and stays low for long enough, all pipes can freeze.

While you can’t control the temperature outside, there are some prevention measures you can take to help keep your pipes from freezing. These include adding insulation to exposed pipes, insulating unheated areas of the property, and keeping your property heated at a consistent temperature.

If you do locate a frozen pipe, it is imperative that you deal with it quickly, to prevent it from bursting. If you suspect one or more of your pipes are frozen, you should turn off the water supply, open any faucets connected to the frozen pipe, and manually warm the pipe by adding insulation or using a portable heater.





Flood proof your property

Another risk that winter brings is flooding. We only have to think back to Storm Babet to see the destruction that heavy rainfall can cause. If a storm is forecast and your property is in an area liable to flooding, it’s vital to have a flood recovery plan in place that includes evacuation routes, transportation plans, and places to stay.

To minimise the impact on your property, sandbags are a great way to prevent damage from floodwaters. By stacking them in front of entrances, you can divert water around your property rather than through it. Sealing external doors by caulking around the frame can also dramatically reduce the amount of floodwater that gets in.

Clear your gutters

During the winter months we see a high level of rainfall across the UK. However, if your gutters and drains are clogged, the intended drainage path is blocked, and water can overflow and enter the property, causing a variety of damage.

Without effective and regular cleaning, debris and silt will build up in your guttering and cause blockages in your drainage system. It is vital that you clear these out before heavy rainfall and storms hit.

Watch out for snow build-up

A build-up of snow and ice on your roof can cause real problems, creating ‘ice dams’ that form in the eaves of your roof or guttering. This can prevent the natural flow of water off the roof and cause the water to run down the interior wall surfaces.

When safe to do so, you should try and remove snow from your roof using a long-handed rake or brush. Also ensure that downspouts and gutters are clear in an effort to prevent flooding.

One of the best long-term methods for preventing ice dams is to install a water-repellent membrane in your roof. This is placed under the roof tiles and acts as an extra barrier, helping to prevent water from seeping into your property.

Winterproof inside

The last thing you need during a cold snap is a broken boiler. Make sure that your heating system has recently been serviced, to keep it running safely.

Clear pathways and property entrances

As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your colleagues and visitors. Make sure that you remove snow and ice from paths and car parks where possible, and use rock salt or grit to avoid any slips or trips.

Call in the experts

Of course, the unpredictable weather conditions that come with the winter season can impact even the most prepared home or business owner.

If you do find yourself in the wake of a disaster, make sure you get expert help from a restoration specialist like BELFOR UK.

At BELFOR, we have been getting businesses back up and running for more than 70 years. We have a network of highly skilled restoration specialists, industry-leading equipment, and innovative technology to support your operations in times of crisis.


To find out more about our services, click here

BELFOR Media Contact

Sam Dawson
Phone: +44 (0) 7770 226 269