Marlie Packer

How to prepare for bad weather

It’s important to keep an eye on certain things in and outside your home in case it is affected by bad weather. Follow Marlie's top tips to help you prepare for the colder months.

Winter - frozen pipes

Outside taps

Make sure your outside taps are switched off. If they are running or dripping there is a high chance that they’ll freeze. As an extra safety measure, it’s a good idea to turn off your internal stop cock that supplies water to the tap.   

Outside pipes

As well as taps, you’ll want to make sure that your external pipes don’t freeze as this could not only cause problems for your outdoor taps but also for your boiler. There are some preventative measures that you can take to avoid your pipes freezing over.

Metal Pipes

With metal pipes you will want to make sure that they are lagged. You can pick up some pipe insulation from most DIY stores and it’s relatively cheap considering what it would cost to repair if the pipe was to burst. Similar to taps, it’s important to make sure that your metal pipes don’t freeze, so lagging is essential.

Condensate pipe

Frozen condensate pipeWith a plastic pipe such as the condensate pipe which goes from your boiler to outside, you’ll want to make sure that it’s either lagged or joined onto a 32mm waste pipe. This will significantly reduce the risk of the pipe freezing over in colder temperatures. 

The condensate pipe is incredibly important. If it was to freeze, then it could cause serious issues with your boiler so make sure that this is taken care of. If the pipe was to freeze over and you find out quite early on, you may be able to rectify this by pouring warm water over the condensate pipe itself. Make sure you aren’t using boiling water as this could cause damage to the pipe.

There's a full guide on how to defrost your condensate here.

What if your pipes burst?

If any of your pipes were to burst then you’ll need to take action immediately. Your first priority is to turn off your water supply and to do this you’ll need to use your main stop-tap. If you have a tank fed system you will need to turn off the two gate valves on the tank; this is usually up in the loft or in an airing cupboard. 

Another key thing to remember is that all pipework in the garage or in the loft is lagged; as these areas can go from hot to cold fast, they might be at risk too. 

You can get more help on burst pipes here.


One last thing to keep an eye on around your home is your guttering and downpipes. With all of the cold covering our pathways in ice, make sure all of your guttering and downpipes aren’t leaking anywhere and that water is going directly into drains. The last thing you want is to have any excess water freezing over your paths!