Snow and ice

How to get prepared before it freezes.

Snow and ice can look picturesque, but freezing temperatures can cause damage to your home. Here are some hints to help you prepare for a cold spell.

Put an emergency kit together
Keep a torch, candles and lighter, tinned food, warm clothing and blankets in a waterproof bag. Make sure you have some salt and a shovel.

Make a list of emergency contacts
Add numbers to your mobile for local tradespeople. You might need a roofer, plumber and electrician, as well as numbers for your utility and insurance companies.

Insurance policy documents
Make sure you have these to hand.

Get your home winterproof

You can avoid pipe damage by keeping your home warm. To help do this:

  • Get your boiler and central heating serviced before the really bad weather sets in.
  • Insulate your loft, pipes, water tank, and any exposed pipes in the garden.
  • Leave your heating on and set your thermostat to at least 10°C.
  • Hang thick curtains in living areas and use draft excluders under doors.

What to do during freezing weather

If you have a burst pipe follow these steps:

  • Turn off the mains water supply.
  • Turn off the electricity, central heating and immersion heater. If there is serious water damage, turn off the electrical supply completely and leave the house until a qualified electrician has checked the system and made sure it’s safe. Never touch the electricity supply if you’re standing in water.
  • Drain the water system by running all the cold and hot water taps.
  • Catch dripping water in buckets. If the ceiling starts to bulge slightly, pierce a few small holes in it to let the water drain through, but only if it’s safe to do so.
  • Stay out of a room if the ceiling bulges significantly, and don’t touch it.

What to do if your home is damaged by freezing weather

  1. Get in touch as soon as you can to let us know what’s happened. You can make a claim online or call us.
  2. Remove any damaged contents. Don’t throw them away as you may need them later for your claim.
  3. Keep samples of your carpets and rugs if you can.
  4. Take photographs and make a list of all damaged items to help support your claim.

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Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.