Winter can be a magical time of year, but freezing temperatures can also be costly.

Pipes and taps that are outdoors, or in cold places like lofts or garage, can freeze and burst – leaving you without water and heating or flooding your home.

The best way to avoid this is to prepare your home or business before the cold weather comes.

Cold snaps could freeze your pipes leaving you and your family without water and heat. We are trying to encourage our customers to get their homes ready for winter by wrapping external pipes to stop them cracking in the freeze.

There are simple things you can do to prepare your home for winter:

  1. Wrap up your pipes and taps

If you have pipes and taps that are outdoors, or in a cold place like a loft or garage, wrap them with insulation or a lagging kit.

  1. Outdoor taps

Don’t leave a hose attached to outside taps. If you have one an outside tap, turn off the valve (which may be inside) and drain down the tap and pipes. This stops them becoming damaged and cold creeping up the pipe into your house.

  1. Fix those drips

Dripping taps can increase the risk of frozen pipes. Fixing it will also save you litres of water every day.

  1. Check your stop tap 

Know where your stop tap is, and check that it works. You’ll need to get to it quickly, and know hwo to turn it off, should the worst happen.

  1. Got a water meter?

If your meter is fitted to the wall outside your house, check that the pipes leading to and from it are insulated and there are no gaps between them, that the meter cupboard is packed with insulation material, and that the door is firmly shut.

  1. Away from home?

Empty buildings are at particular risk. If you’ll be away from your home or business for a few days, consider turning off your stop tap and draining down the system – so there is no water in the system to freeze. Keeping your heating on low will also help keep your home warm and prevent pipes from freezing.

  1. Keep your home cosy

Keep your home warm by using draft excluders and closing curtains at night.

Service the boiler and check your radiators are all working properly.

  1. Insulated the loft

Insulating your loft - or topping up any insulation you already have - will help to heat your home more efficiently, save energy and reduce your energy bills. Cavity wall insulation can also help keep you home warm and cut heating bills.

  1. Check your gutters

Check the gutters and drains are clear of leaves or debris. This will help to prevent blockages and flooding. This can also stop leaks and damage to your walls and roof.

  1. And finally, Don’t forget your family, friends and neighbours

Help them out if they need a hand preparing – and perhaps agree to watch each other’s houses if you’re going to be away.

For more information visit to do Welsh Water's winter ready test.