It’s not often that Britain gets a white Christmas. However, this year could be different, with weather forecasters predicting temperatures to drop dramatically over the next few days to as low as -7C in some parts of the UK.
While this news may be welcomed by those who want a picture-perfect snowy scene on December 25th, it also comes as a warning to homeowners to prepare their residences for the big freeze.
The Met Office has predicted strong winds, snowfall and sub-zero temperatures will make their way to Britain from Iceland by the weekend, The Sun reported.
The organisation’s Craig Snell told the news provider: “There’s scope that it could come down to about -6C and -7C in the real countryside areas, like the high ground of the Pennines and some of the glens in Scotland.”
Even big urban areas will feel the chill, with the expert predicting temperatures to dip to 0C in towns and cities, showing that no home will escape the chilly conditions.
Property owners will want to make sure their house is as prepared as possible for the snowy conditions, particularly as millions of homes were affected badly by last year’s Beast from the East. This long period of freezing weather had a catastrophic impact on many properties, especially those whose pipes froze and then burst when the temperatures rose again.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported that bad weather insurance claims surged by 290 per cent due to the Beast from the East, and insurance companies paid out £1.25 billion in repairs as a result.
More than £194 million was given to homeowners in Q1 2018 who experienced burst pipes in February and March, compared with £4 million that was paid in the fourth quarter of 2017. It also represents the highest amount ever to be paid in a three-month period.
Assistant director, head of property, commercial and specialist lines at ABI Mark Shepherd stated: “This winter definitely had a sting in the tail that was felt by thousands of homeowners and businesses.”
He went on to say: “Simple preventative steps taken before the bad weather arrives can greatly reduce the threat.”
When it comes to protecting pipes, homeowners can insulate those that are exposed, such as ones in the attic and the basement; open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes; and cover outside taps with foam. It is also a good idea to turn off the water supply to the outside taps, particularly if you are going away for some time over the winter.
Of course, the freezing weather does not just put your house at risk, but can also make you feel incredibly uncomfortable if it does not warm up enough.
One of the best ways to keep the cold air out is to make sure it is fitted with properly sealed doors and windows. Installing aluminium windows is a great idea for trapping warmth in the property, so you can stay nice and toasty indoors during the cold snap.
You might also want to insulate your loft, use draft excluders against doors, and keep blinds closed in rooms.