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Last updated on January 11th, 2024

Cold weather damage costs

The winter months can wreak havoc on our homes. Cold weather damage is a common concern for UK households, which is why preparing for freezing conditions will help us stave off the chill and enjoy a warm and toasty environment.

The winter months can wreak havoc on our homes. Cold weather damage is a common concern for UK households, which is why preparing for freezing conditions will help us stave off the chill and enjoy a warm and toasty environment.

Not only is this good for your home, but it’s also good for your health. With flu season upon us – coupled with the Covid-19 risk – making sure our homes defend us against bugs, damp and the freezing/thawing cycle is key.

So, what’s the cost of creating these secure sanctuaries? How much does defending your property from Jack Frost set you back?

Read on for our expert guidance.

Common types of cold weather damage

When cold weather damage arises, it can cost the UK economy around £1billion per day (yes, that much!).

Cold weather damage costs

That said, here are some common types of cold weather damage:

  • Roof and gutter stress/damage
  • Frozen or burst pipes
  • Damp and rot
  • Water tank leaks
  • Peeling window and door seals
  • Cracking paths
  • Electrical hazards
  • Exploding garden pots
  • Cracked chimneys
  • Damaged decking
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Preventative cold weather damage costs

Limit the amount of damage cold weather does to your home by considering the following preventative measures.

Preventative measureUnitAverage cost
Pipe insulationPer metre (material)£1.60
Pipe insulationPer job (labour)£200
Gutter maintenancePer 5m£90
Roof and chimney inspectionPer inspection£250
Garden pot insulationPer 8m of horticultural fleece£15
Insulation (loft)Per m²£10
Insulation (walls)Detached property£3,200
Insulation (floors)Suspended floors per m²£105
Door and window sealantPer 300ml£10
Underpin housePer m£1,125
House surveyCondition report£300
Boiler servicePer job£100
Outside tap insulation covereach£10
Insulate external condensate pipe from boilereach£200
Lag cold water tank in loft (material only)each£25

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Insulate pipes

Protect your pipe from freezing or bursting by wrapping them in weather-resistant insulation. Focus on your loft and garage first, which are particularly vulnerable, before you wrap the rest of your house. You can either hire a professional to wrap your pipes or tape/glue them yourself.

Check out our emergency guide for more information about how to prevent pipes freezing. And here’s what to do when a pipe bursts.

  • Average cost of materials: £1.60 per metre for 15mm (diameter) and 13mm (thickness)
  • Average labour cost: £200

Insulate external condensate pipe from the boiler

This will stop your boiler from freezing and keep it working.

Average cost: £200

Outside tap insulation cover

Insulating your outside tap will stop it from freezing.

Average cost: £10 for a cover

Gutter maintenance

Making sure your water can flow freely and doesn’t strain or break your gutters is essential during the winter months. Invest in a quality de-icer for weekly build-up, and be sure to hire a professional to clean your gutters before the cold weather sets in.

Check out our gutter cleaning cost guide for more comprehensive information.

Average cost: £90 per 5m

Roof and chimney inspections

Avoid costly repairs by hiring a professional to inspect your roof and chimney/s regularly. However, be sure to keep an eye out for debris, cracked tiles and leaning chimney breasts throughout the year.

Check out our roof inspection cost guide for more information.

Average cost: £250 per inspection

Wrap your garden pots

Floor insulation to prevent cold weather damageWe recommend using horticultural fleece to wrap the perennials that are too big to bring inside. This stops them from freezing or dying off when temperatures drop to unsustainable levels.

Average cost: £15 per 8m

Insulate your loft, walls and floors

To avoid condemnation build-up, leaks, damage or structural issues, consider insulating your loft, walls and floors. Not only will this keep you extra toasty, but insulation acts as an extra barrier against cold and flu bugs.

Check out our loft insulation cost guide, cavity wall insulation cost guide, and floor insulation cost guide for further information.

  • Loft insulation average cost: £10 per m² for 2 layers of quilt insulation (the price of material only)
  • Wall insulation average cost: £3,200 for a detached property
  • Floor insulation average cost: £105 per m² for suspended floor insulation

Seal your windows and doors

Use a weatherproof sealant to repair any peeling or cracks in the seals around your windows and doors. Staying on top of this sort of damage prevents more costly damage further down the line.

Average cost: £10 per 300ml of frame sealant

Reinforce your home’s structural integrity

Home foundation repairDue to the freeze and thaw cycle typical of cold weather, your home’s foundations are at risk of cracking and weakening. To avoid this, consider reinforcing your home’s structural integrity before more serious damage has a chance to take root and cost you a small fortune.

Read our foundation repair cost guide for more information.

Average cost to underpin your house: £1,125 per m

Undertake a house inspection

For greater peace of mind, why not consider undertaking a house survey before winter hits and it’s too late? Staying on top of small issues stop them become huge and costly ones.

Our house survey cost guide tells you everything you need to know about what to expect from a survey and who is likely to benefit.

Average cost of condition report: £300

Service your boiler

To avoid frozen or burst pipes, condensation or mould, it’s recommended that you keep the heating on for at least an hour a day. To make sure your boiler is up to it, book in a service with an engineer before the temperature drops.

Check out our boiler service cost guide for more information.

Average boiler service cost: £100

Lag cold water storage tank in the loft

This will stop the water from freezing which could potentially cause a burst tank. It could cost you around £1,000 to replace the tank.

Average cost: £220 - £440

Cold weather damage costs

cold weather damage costsNow we’ve covered the cost of preventative cold weather damage measures, let’s take a look at the potential costs for when the damage is done.

As you can see, the costs start to add up without preventative measures in place. So, with that in mind, why not hire a professional to come and cold-proof your home before the winter months take their toll?

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Other helpful links

Checklist

  • Identify your cold-weather defence requirements and prioritise your preventative measures
  • Tackle external measures first, such as your roof, gutter, foundations and seals
  • Remember that prevention is better than cure. Hire a professional to tackle more complex jobs for your peace of mind

For more helpful guides like this, head over to Checkatrade’s blog for all the latest insights, inspiration and costs on hundreds of relevant topics.

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Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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