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Top tips to prepare your home for winter

Press release: 06/10/2014

Every year during the winter months, LV= home insurance sees a spike in the number of calls it receives for home damage claims. Burst pipes, blocked drains and storm damage, are very common during October to February, but there are some things that home-owners can do to limit the damage to their homes.

Here are some top tips to prepare your home for winter:

  1. Protect your pipes - water pipes are most likely to burst during cold weather spells and especially when homes are left empty so it's worth taking the following steps to help protect them:
    - If you're going away and the temperature could drop below freezing, programme your home's central heating to come on for a few hours each day.
    - Insulation is the key element that could stop your pipes freezing, the more insulated they are, the better protected they'll be.
    - When away from home for a long period of time, ask a friend or neighbour to check your house once a week to make sure everything's in order.
  2. Reduce draughts - look for small gaps around windows, fireplaces and TV and telephone wires where cold air could be coming through and seal these.
  3. Keep your gutters clear - regularly clear away any leaves located near gutters to prevent them from falling into the drain pipe and blocking them.
  4. Check the roof - have any broken or missing tiles or slates replaced and other damage repaired. It is especially important to check flat roofs, which generally need re-covering every five to ten years. Keeping the rain out is one of the most important things you can do.
  5. Get your boiler serviced before the cold weather sets in and your central heating checked so you don't have any problems with them when you will need them most.
  6. Deter burglars - Make sure you draw your curtains during the evening so that you don't let potential burglars see what you have in your home when the lights are on.
  7. Use a light timer - If you are going to be away for an extended period use a timer to set your lights to come on at certain times each day to make it look like someone is at home.
  8. Fit security lights - Fit security lighting that points at your door or your window to brighten dark areas that burglars may take advantage of.
  9. Sweep your chimneys - If your chimneys are in use, make sure that they get swept every year. This will remove the build-up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls and prevent soot escaping.
  10. Christmas presents - By leaving all of the packaging from your Christmas presents outside your house you are advertising all the goods you have inside and making yourself a target for potential burglars. It is better to store any packaging out of sight until your next recycling collection.

As the temperature drops and the nights grow longer, your home is at greater risk of burglary and cold weather damage. By spending a little time now ensuring your house is fully prepared for the winter months, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort should the worst happen

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= home insurance

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For further information please contact:

Vanessa Chance,, 0208 256 6996/ 07947 380074


LV= employs 5,800 people and serves over 5.5 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.