Winterproofing: A Practical Guide

December, 2023

As the winter season approaches and temperatures plummet, homeowners face the challenge of safeguarding properties against the harsh elements.

Whether you're embarking on an extended holiday, relocating for work, or experiencing a tenant turnover, preparing your vacant home for the winter is crucial to prevent damage and maintain its value. 

Preventing Frozen Pipes and Water Damage

Frozen pipes are a common winter hazard that can lead to extensive water damage and costly repairs. To prevent frozen pipes in your vacant Norwich property, consider these measures:

  • Maintain Low-Level Heating: Set your central heating to a low temperature, ideally around 14°C (57°F), even when the property is unoccupied. This continuous heat circulation helps prevent pipes from freezing, especially those in exposed areas like lofts and crawl spaces.
  • Insulate Pipes in Vulnerable Areas: In areas susceptible to freezing, such as lofts and crawl spaces, insulate exposed pipes using foam pipe insulation or heat tape. This added protection helps maintain pipe temperatures and prevents ice formation.
  • Drain Water from Unused Pipes: If you have specific areas of the property that won't be used during the winter, consider draining the water from those pipes to eliminate the risk of freezing. Consult a professional plumber to ensure proper draining and avoid airlocks in the system.
  • Prevent Gutter Blockages: Blocked gutters can overflow during winter storms, leading to water damage to the roof, walls, and foundation. Regularly clear gutters of leaves, debris and ice buildup to ensure proper water drainage.


Enhancing Security and Deterring Unwanted Visitors

Vacant properties are more vulnerable to vandalism, theft, and even squatting. Implementing security measures can deter unwanted visitors and protect your Norwich property from harm:

  • Schedule Regular Inspections: Arrange for a trusted friend, neighbour, or property management service to conduct regular inspections of your vacant property. This routine monitoring helps identify any signs of damage, vandalism, or potential squatters.
  • Install Security Systems: Consider installing a monitored security system with motion sensors, alarms, and remote access capabilities. This proactive measure can deter intruders and provide immediate notification of any incidents.
  • Maintain a Lived-In Appearance: To make the property appear less vacant, consider using timers for lights and appliances to create the illusion of occupancy. Additionally, avoid leaving personal belongings or valuables visible from windows.
  • Secure Doors and Windows: Ensure all doors and windows are properly locked and secured. Consider installing additional security measures, such as reinforced door locks, window bars, or security grilles.


Additional Tips

To further protect your vacant Norwich property during the winter, consider these additional tips:

  • Unplug Electronics: Disconnect all unnecessary electronics and appliances to prevent electrical damage from power surges or storms.
  • Protect Outdoor Furniture: Bring in or cover outdoor furniture to prevent damage from snow, ice, and harsh weather conditions.
  • Check for Wildlife Entry Points: Seal any cracks or openings that could allow pests or rodents to enter the property.
  • Notify Insurance Provider: Inform your insurance company that the property will be vacant to ensure adequate coverage in case of any winter-related damage.


Arlington Park Estate & Letting Agents: Your Trusted Partner in Norwich

Arlington Park Estate & Letting Agents is committed to helping Norwich homeowners safeguard their vacant properties during the winter season. Our experienced team can provide comprehensive advice, arrange regular inspections, and recommend reputable contractors for any necessary repairs or maintenance.

Contact us today to discuss your vacant property winterization needs and ensure your Norwich home remains protected throughout the winter months.

We hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

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