Winter-proof your home and car

Updated: 
The severe weather can wreak havoc with all manner of things, from boilers to cars. Luckily, a few simple precautions can save you a lot of hassle.

Top winter-proofing searches:
  1. Boiler breakdowns
  2. Frozen pipes
  3. Basic plumbing
  4. Insulating pipes
  5. Winter car care
  6. Antifreeze car
  7. Leaking roof
  8. Jump starting a car
  9. Car batteries
  10. Loft insulation
Flat battery
Hundreds of motorists could be heading for trouble this winter. Batteries suffer in the cold and wet and problems are 40 per cent more likely to occur in the colder months. Take Green Flag's advice and check your battery before you set off on your journey.

Boiler breakdown
There's nothing much worse than finding you've got no hot water and the central heating has packed up. According to British Gas, a boiler breaks down every 20 seconds. Without cover you could be faced with a bill in excess of £185.00. Get yourself some insurance or alternatively pay a one-off, up-front fee to your supplier. Always check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. Recently the government has started a boiler scrappage scheme worth £400.00. If you have an old boiler you may qualify. Visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk to find out more.

Frozen pipes

When was the last time you checked the insulation on your pipes? Remember to look in the loft; there are always pipes and usually a tank. Is it well insulated? Pipe lagging should be 50mm thick. If you are away from the house for a winter break it's advisable to keep the central heating on, at least moderately. Leave your loft door open so warm air can rise and stop pipes freezing. If you're worried, consider asking a friend to pop in while you're away. That way if the pipes do freeze or burst the problem can be spotted early.

Leaky roof
Small leaks in the roof can build up in the winter months. Have a look inside the loft. When was the last time you checked the flashing (lining used where the roof meets the brickwork)? If you have a flat roof check for puddles. Also check chimney pots, satellite dishes and aerials. A quick fix now could save a hefty bill later.