Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Features

Protecting your home against the deep freeze

With snow and ice-cold winds sweeping across the country, it's important to maintain your home against the elements - or potentially face a big bill.

Jessica Turner, senior manager of weather modelling at Halifax Home Insurance, says: "Taking steps to protect properties, particularly during better weather, means that when cold weather arrives, home owners can rest assured that their homes will be able to deal with the extreme elements."

Here are some tips from Halifax Home Insurance to handle the freeze with ease.

  • Set your thermostat to a minimum temperature to avoid a pipe freeze. Many thermostats have a winter option that heats the system to keep pipes at the right temperature.
  • Disconnect and drain hosepipes, sprinkler systems and water features connected to external water outlets.
  • Insulate exposed pipes in basements, attics, garages, kitchen cabinets and on the outside of the house.
  • If you're going on holiday, it might be worth shutting off and draining your water system - ask your provider for information on how to do this.
  • Make sure you know where your stopcock is so you can turn it off quickly in an emergency and prevent a flood. The stopcock is the valve that controls the cold water system in your home. They're usually to be found in the kitchen below the sink unit.
  • Keep your home insurance details to hand in case the worst happens.

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