October 26, 2012 04:00 ET

HomeServe Suggest 7 Steps To Preparing Your Home For Winter Weather

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2012) - As temperatures start to drop, HomeServe have put together some tips to help you prepare your home for the winter and make sure you stay cosy until spring arrives.

  1. How to keep out chilly draughts

Check your home for any gaps where chilly breezes could sneak in. The most likely places are around doors, windows, loft hatches and pipes which lead outside. Sealing draughts around your windows is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways of saving energy. For windows that open, apply draught-proofing strips that stick around the frame. If the window doesn't open, use a silicon sealant.

  1. Keep pests out of your home

During cold weather, you may throw food out for the birds. However this can attract unwanted pests like mice, rats and even squirrels. Instead try using hanging bird feeders rather than throwing food out on the ground.

  1. Unblock your gutters

Firstly, scoop the gunk out by hand or with a pressure washer. If you find a blockage in the drainpipe, tap your hand along the pipe until you find the area that makes a higher pitched sound - this will indicate where the blockage is. Once you've located the blockage, continue tapping the pipe to loosen the debris until it flushes out the bottom (or use a pressure washer to clear).

  1. Insulate everything

To help avoid messy bursts and leaks, insulate your pipes and water tanks. When pipes freeze in cold weather the thawing can cause them to crack. To avoid this, wrap any exposed pipes in a quarter-inch thick set of newspapers, then add a layer of foil. If you find your water pipes have frozen, open the spout of the faucet, keep your home warm and blow dry any exposed sections of pipe.

  1. Bleed your radiators

A simple way to warm up your home is to bleed your radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm your home more efficiently.

  1. How to prevent outdoor taps from freezing

Water freezing and expanding can cause outdoor pipework to burst and this is one of the most common causes of leaks during the winter. Your garden tap may have an isolation value on the indoor pipe work leading to it - always turn this off at the start of winter. Once it's off, turn on the outside tap to make sure there's no water trapped inside.

  1. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Check that the batteries are working in your carbon monoxide monitor and smoke detectors. Keep a torch with working batteries to hand, as you never know when you'll need one during the dark nights!

About HomeServe

Every 1 minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.

HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.

HomeServe also offers insurance for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring, gas central heating & boiler cover. It has over 6 million policy members in the UK and a further 4 million in the USA and France.

Important information regarding HomeServe help and advice

HomeServe try to make the home advice as useful and reliable as possible. However, the purpose of HomeServe help and advice content is to provide homeowners and private landlords with general guidance and useful tips only. It doesn't necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals and might not be relevant or appropriate in all circumstances. It is not designed to provide professional advice or financial advice and should not be relied on as such. The full disclaimer regarding HomeServe help and advice can be found on the website at the following page:

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