Snowflakes falling on a house

How to prepare your home for winter

by Leeds Building Society

Damage to your property can be a real drain on your bank balance, and a difficult situation to handle. Knowing a few small things you can do around the home could be key to avoiding expensive situations if your home is hit by bad weather or flooding. 

From big jobs to quick fixes, here’s how to look after your home through the winter months.

Animated image of a house with its rooms exposed

Go to: Water pipes · Radiators · Electrical devices · Boiler · Loft · Windows · Doors · Chimney · Garage · Roof · Garden · Gutters

Water pipes

To limit the risk of freezing during the colder months, make sure pipes and water tanks are properly insulated. Check taps and put washers on any that appear to be dripping – they could freeze and block the pipe when the cold hits!


If you’re going away, keep central heating at a low but consistent temperature. This prevents water in pipes dropping to a freezing temperature and expanding, which causes damage and leaks.

Electrical devices

If your home floods, your electrical devices could be at risk. Raising the height of plug sockets and storing valuables on shelves can limit damage in the event of flooding.


Get your boiler serviced by a professional before the cold hits. You could also consider getting boiler cover in case of any breakdowns.


Insulate your loft. When temperatures fall, this will help to stop heat escaping from the top of your home. 


During stormy weather, close the curtains just in case windows get broken. It’ll also help to keep the heat in, so your home stays nice and warm.


Installing door guards will prevent dirty floodwater from entering your home and damaging your belongings if waters rise.


Have your chimney swept – sooty chimneys pose a greater fire risk. And consider having your chimney surveyed, which could prevent parts coming loose and causing damage elsewhere.


Important plumbing and heating can often be found in garages – and they’re usually pretty cold! If you’re going away, turn off the inside stop tap and drain the system so the pipes don’t freeze.


Check for any missing or damaged tiles and replace where necessary – water damage can spread far and wide, so it’s important to prevent rain getting in. And make sure you check that loose tiles and satellites are secure, so they won’t fall off.


Try to secure any garden furniture or fences to protect them against strong winds. It’s also a good idea to make sure your garden shed is watertight in case there’s a heavy downpour.


Clear out your gutters and drains, removing any leaves, dirt and debris. This helps water drain freely.


Home insurance from Aviva

Through our partnership with Aviva, you can arrange flexible, straightforward home insurance built around you. It covers your home and its contents, replacing new for old if your belongings get damaged, lost or stolen.

You can also choose from flexible options to insure against accidental damage and to protect your things when you’re away from home (exclusions and limitations apply).

Interested in home insurance arranged by us?

Get a quote now


This article is intended for information purposes only and is accurate at the time of publication. It’s always advisable to verify any information you take before relying on it.

Buildings and contents insurance arranged by Leeds Building Society is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited. Registered in Scotland, number 2116. Registered Office: Pitheavlis, Perth PH2 0NH. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Registration No. 202153. Aviva Insurance Limited may decline to quote in some circumstances.