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Protecting Your Home Against Snow & Ice

Snow and ice can cause all sorts of problems around the house and garden, so it’s worthwhile taking a bit of time now to make sure that you won’t have problems when winter arrives. Follow our guide to protecting your home against snow and ice and be safe this winter. 

1) Check gutters and downpipes

Anywhere that water doesn’t flow fast and freely is a potential problem in cold weather, as still water will freeze. So check that all your gutters are flowing freely, and keep checking throughout autumn to make sure that they don’t get blocked with fallen leaves. If you have particularly heavy rain, you will certainly see if one is blocked, but do be aware that they can be blocked even when they appear clear. If you don’t want to get up there yourself, call in a guttering firm, and have them have a look and clean out any moss or leaves for you.

Also take a look at your bathroom pipes, if they run outside the house. In particular, check for any sections that look relatively flat, where water might just get stuck. Call a plumber or a guttering expert, and get them altered now, while the weather is still OK. If you don’t want to change the pipes, then insulate the flat section to prevent it freezing. Also try to avoid putting water through any pipes like this last thing at night, although this can be quite hard.

2) Porches and overhangs

These can be a problem in snow, when the weight of snow can build up, and become very heavy. Check the strength of any porch or overhangs now, especially if there is guttering around the edge, and be aware of the potential problems. If you need to do any repairs to make it weatherproof, now is the time. But even if the structure is sound, it pays to be aware which parts of the house need to be de-snowed early, using a soft brush to avoid damaging the structure.

3) Patios and driveways

We’ve said it before, but get your patio and driveway cleaned now, not after you’ve slipped on it. Wet and algae is a pretty lethal combination, and ice can only make it worse. Use an anti-algal cleaner, and a pressure hose, to make sure that your patio and paths are safely cleaned, and you will be able to walk on them even when it’s wet. Invest in a supply of de-icing salt or rock salt, and keep some stored inside. If you’re expecting frost, then sprinkle a little over the paths and driveway the night before, to prevent them freezing. If you forget, you still have some inside to use in the morning, before venturing out carefully.

Read our tips on how to clear your drive of snow.