Cost to Prevent Winter Freezing Damage in 2024 | Checkatrade
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Last updated on February 1st, 2024

Cost to prevent winter freezing damage

Burst pipes, leaking roofs and condensation are all things that are more prone to happening in the winter. Wondering how to prepare your home for the cold weather? Here's the typical cost to prevent winter freezing damage.

Fast Facts

  • Making sure your house is heated is one of the best ways to prevent winter freezing damage
  • A one-off boiler service typically costs between £80 and £120
  • Insulating your loft costs around £500 and can help to prevent pipes up there from freezing

Whether you love those frosty winter days or you’re itching for summer to roll back around, one thing’s sure. Winter’s not fun when there are burst pipes to deal with.

In this guide, we’ve taken a look at the cost to prevent winter freezing damage.

Cost to prevent winter freezing damage

One of the biggest issues caused by cold weather damage is burst pipes.

In freezing temperatures, water in exposed pipes can freeze and expand. This leads to a build-up of pressure and causes the pipes to rupture. Then, once the ice starts to melt, the water floods out.

Although pipes can burst all year round, most of these incidents happen in winter months.

We’ve taken a look at some of the jobs you can do to prepare your home for the winter and prevent winter freezing damage, along with the costs.

ItemUnitCost - lowCost - highAverage cost
Boiler servicePer one-off service£80£120£100
Check and bleed radiatorsFor 5-10 radiators£80£100£90
Insulate loftPer project£400£600£500
Replace roof tilesFor 5 tiles£170£500£335
Clean gutteringPer house£50£250£150
Insert extractor fanPer new fan£250£350£300
HomeServe boiler and heating coverPer month--£8
HomeServe plumbing and drainage coverPer month--50p

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

Heating

To avoid winter freezing damage, you’ll want to make sure that your house is adequately heated. We’d recommend booking your boiler in for a service and bleeding the radiators before winter approaches.

You’re looking at around £80 to £120 for a one-off boiler service. It’ll cost around £90 for someone to check and bleed your radiators for you.

If your boiler runs on LPG or oil, you should also make sure that you have enough to last – the last thing you want is to run out in freezing temperatures!

Leaving the house for a holiday or weekend away? If it’s set to be cold, leave the heating on a low setting or set the timer for at least an hour a day. If you can, it’s also worth asking someone to visit every couple of days while you’re gone, to check that everything’s okay.

Insulation

Insulating your loft is a great way to protect any pipes up there from frost damage, particularly if you have a header tank.

Getting your loft insulated tends to cost between £400 and £600. It’s also a good idea to insulate any external pipes.

If it’s very cold, consider opening the door of your loft hatch. That way, warm air from other parts of the house can enter the loft and prevent pipes from freezing.

Cost to prevent winter freezing damage

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Weatherproofing

If you have existing issues with your roof, cold weather can make them much worse.

For instance, water can get into cracks and freeze, causing them to expand. If the water freezes and thaws multiple times in a short period, this can cause a lot of damage and even lead to you having to replace your roof.

Catching problems early can help to stop them from getting worse and minimise any damage. So, always check roof tiles and guttering as winter starts to approach. Better still, booking a roof inspection will help flag any small niggles that could lead to costly roof repair work later down the line.

You can expect to pay around £335 to replace five roof tiles and £150 to get your gutters cleaned.

Ventilation

Making sure that your property is well-ventilated can help to prevent condensation from forming where the hot air in your home meets the cold air from outside. Condensation can ultimately lead to mould and wood rot.

Opening windows will do the job nicely. But you could also consider investing in air vents and extractor fans – particularly in areas prone to moisture, such as your kitchen and bathroom.

Installing a new extractor fan will cost in the region of £300.

Insurance

Hopefully, by following these steps, you’ll be able to avoid any winter freezing damage. But just in case the worst happens, why not take out home emergency cover?

This is a kind of insurance that covers home emergencies such as boiler breakdowns, blocked drains, burst pipes and loss of hot water. So, it’s especially handy during the cold winter months!

HomeServe offers boiler and heating cover from £8 per month, and plumbing and drainage cover from 50p per month. 

Winter freezing damage key takeaways

  • Freezing temperatures can lead to burst pipes
  • Leave the heating on while you’re away
  • If you have pipes or a header tank in the loft, insulation can help to reduce the risk of winter freezing damage
  • Home emergency cover can help to protect you if the worst happens
  • Consider installing a smart heating system such as Hive

Ready to start preparing your home for the cold weather to prevent winter freezing damage? Simply enter your postcode below to find a central heating engineer near you who can service your boiler.

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FAQs

How do I prevent my pipes from freezing UK?

Heating your home is the best way to prevent pipes from freezing indoors. Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to insulate your external pipes.

Making sure your loft is well insulated can also help to protect the pipes up there. If it’s very cold, you could even open the door of your loft hatch to allow warm air to enter your loft.

How long to leave heating on to stop pipes freezing?

If you’re going away and it’s set to be cold, it’s best to leave the heating on to stop your pipes from freezing. Either leave the heating on a low setting or set the timer to go on for at least an hour a day.

Does frost protection stop pipes freezing?

Yes, frost protection is one of several measures that can help to stop pipes from freezing. Many modern boilers come with frost protection, which means they turn on if the temperature of the water inside them falls below a certain temperature (usually 5°C). You can also get frost protection thermostats.

Will lagging stop pipes freezing?

Lagging, also known as pipe insulation, is a great way to help prevent pipes from freezing. It wraps around pipes to protect them in colder weather and keep heat in the pipes.

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Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021. *8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn’t endorsed.

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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What others think of this article:

Christine white

Good to know thanx

Jenny Brabazon

Thank you. It's useful to know the going rate for these jobs.

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