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Tips for winter proofing your home

  • Escape of water claims cause £1.9 million worth of damage to home each winter

  • Tesco Bank urges homeowners to get winter checks done now, ahead of the colder months as well as making sure to check your insurance is up to date

  • Internal data from Tesco Bank reveals an uptick in theft (29%) compared to an average month


Alex Cross, Insurance Director at Tesco Bank, comments:


“Winter is nearly upon us. Temperatures have started to drop, evenings are drawing in and the change in season should prompt us all to do some pre-winter checks around the home. Our own internal data shows that pipes bursting and water escaping costs our customers £1.9 million each winter. So with a cold snap likely to be just round the corner, now is the time to get that winter checklist done.”

Alex shares six tips to help people get their homes winter ready.

1. Keep an eye on the pipes

You’ll find that pipes that are not insulated, or in colder areas of the house like basements and attics, are more prone to bursting. Check to see if the pipes are easily accessible so you can insulate them with foam or fiberglass sleeves, both of which you can pick up fairly cheaply.

2. Check your hot water

A cold snap is the worst time to start experiencing difficulties with your hot water supply and boiler. If you can, before the weather starts to get really cold, run a quick test of your heating system. This way you can check if your boiler and radiators are working well, and get some help if you need to.


Consider bleeding your radiators. Air can sometimes get inside the system and stop your radiators getting hot. Use a radiator key to undo the valves and you might hear some hissing as the air escapes. Once you start getting only water, tighten the valve and test your system again.

Real Homes

3. Find where your stop cock is

Your stop cock turns off the cold water supply to your house and is essential if you have a burst pipe. It usually has a W on it or will say ‘water’ and can often be found in your kitchen, near the boiler, or under the stairs – however it can sometimes be outside on or near the driveway. Find where it is and let anyone else you live with know as well.

4. Weather watch

It may be impossible to stop a storm from hitting, but it is possible to prepare for it. Our home insurance team have some of the busiest days of the year after named storms, and there are some things homeowners can do to reduce the risk of damage. Take a look at the outside of your property for things like cracked or broken roof tiles or low hanging branches, and secure anything that could easily be picked up by strong winds and thrown across the garden.

5. Prepare a flood emergency kit

Having an emergency stash of supplies could help keep you and your family safe and warm should a flood occur. In your kit, you may want to include first aid equipment, bottled water, food, a torch (in case you lose power), an emergency contacts sheet, prescribed medication, blankets, clothing, insurance documents and money. If you have infants or elderly people in your household, you should also pack any special items they may need.

6. Check your home insurance

Winter is a busy time for home insurance claims, with problems cropping up for many at this time of year. Hopefully you won’t need to make a claim, but just in case you do, check your home insurance policy is up to date.

As well as checking your insurance is up to date, it’s worth noting that over the Christmas period many insurers add an automatic uplift to your policy to cover gifts, food, drink, and extra things you have in your home.

If you are ever in doubt about how to look after your home during the winter months, particularly when it comes to such things as heating, be sure to contact a specialist.

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