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How to prepare for snow and ice

As the chill of winter settles in, the possibility of a snow day becomes a reality that many of us may not give much thought to until it's upon us.
While the magic of snowfall and icy frost can be enchanting, the accompanying challenges can catch us off guard if we're not adequately equipped.
Whether you live in an area that always has winter storms or one that only occasionally sees a blanket of snow, taking the time to prepare both your indoor and outdoor spaces is crucial.
Here, we'll guide you through the steps of preparing for snow and ice, ensuring that you're equipped with the essentials to face harsh weather conditions.

Jump to: 
How to prepare your indoor space for snow and ice
Steps to take indoors before the arrival of snow and ice
Steps to take indoors after snow and ice have melted
How to prepare your outdoor space for snow and ice

How to prepare your indoor space for snow and ice

When winter's icy grip tightens, preparing your indoor space is vital to ensure both comfort and safety. Before the first snowflake falls, take proactive measures to create a cosy haven that can withstand the challenges of winter weather.

Steps to take indoors before the arrival of snow and ice

Draught Excluder Prevents Cold Air Getting Under Door

Inspect your home's insulation

Wiping condensation from windows, window sills and walls can prevent moisture damaging the paintwork and mould forming.  There are a few simple things you can do to prevent condensation and mould at home.

Check your windows and doors for air getting through, and if needed, apply weather stripping or draught excluders. 

Opt for brush excluders, or there are plenty of affordable fabric draught excluders that will add a bit of comfort and can be purchased from most home stores.

For a more in-depth guide on insulating, take a look at our blog on draught-proofing tips for your home.

Check your heating system 

It is vital that you prevent frozen pipes and taps to keep your pipes running smoothly and avoid any disruption or costs that can come with plumbing repairs. One way you can do this is by using your heating to encourage warm airflow. Most experts recommend setting your thermostat to at least 7°C.

Ensure that your heating system is in good condition and you’re taking steps to prevent your condensate pipe from freezing as if it does freeze, it will stop your boiler from working.  We’ve also got a handy guide on how to defrost a condensate pipe.

Consider getting your heating system professionally serviced by a Gas Safe engineer, or, if you’re a Places for People customer, we’ll get in touch with you to arrange an annual service.

For more tips, check out how to get your boiler ready for winter.

Stock up on snow essentials for your home

When confronted with the possibility of an icy freeze that forces you to stay indoors, having an emergency kit becomes absolutely essential. 

Blankets, warm clothing, torches, playing cards and non-perishable food items could all come in handy during power outages. 

For a comprehensive list of key items for your emergency kit, read our blog How to prepare for storms.

Mother And Child Travel By Car On A Snowy Winters Day

Gather handy winter tools and supplies for your car

Most drivers know the unpleasant feeling of de-frosting their car first thing in the morning. Make this task easier and driving during a bout of snow and icy less risky by putting a winter car kit together:

  • Ice scraper
  • De-icer
  • Wiper fluid
  • Anti-freeze 
  • Jump leads
  • Blankets
  • Water to drink
  • A head torch

Remember to take it slow and steady when driving as roads may be icy or wet and be especially considerate of other drivers and pedestrians driving during harsh weather conditions.

Be mindful of communal areas in shared properties

In managed properties, tenants often share a responsibility for communal areas. 

Confirm with your property management company or landlord to find out if they have a winter maintenance plan for shared spaces.

It may be a good idea to chat with your neighbours to see if you can work together to keep your shared surroundings safe and tidy. This may involve brushing up leaves that have blown into hallways, being mindful of water trickling from wet umbrellas or clearing walkways of snow and applying salt to prevent icy patches outside communal doors. 

If you’re a Places for People customer and you’re concerned about the communal area in your building, please report an issue.

Steps to take indoors after snow and ice have melted

Once the snow and ice subsides, assess your indoor space for any weather-related damage. Check for frozen pipework or leaks that may have developed during the cold spell before they cause further issues to your home, and learn how to manage your frozen pipes.

In communal areas of managed properties, collaborate with fellow tenants to report any issues to the property management. If you’re a Places for People customer, ensure you report a repair and we’ll arrange for a member of our maintenance team to fix it.

Don’t forget to restock any emergency supplies that were used, ensuring your home is ready for any more periods of heavy snow and ice.
By proactively preparing your indoor space and understanding tenant responsibilities in communal areas, you can navigate the challenges of snow and ice with resilience and ease. 

Keep your space warm, welcoming, and well-maintained throughout the winter season.

How to prepare your outdoor space for snow and ice

Shovelling Snow From Paths And Walkways

When winter blankets your surroundings with snow and ice, ensuring that your outdoor space is well-prepared becomes essential for safety and convenience. 

Stock essential winter supplies

Ensure you have lots of de-icer, rock salt, or sand to prevent ice buildup on walkways. Invest in a sturdy snow shovel for efficient snow removal.

Inspect outdoor walls

Check the exterior walls of your home for cracks and if you know how, patch them up to prevent damp. If you’re a Places for People customer, please report a repair rather than tackling this yourself. If you have a shed, prevent leaks by painting the exterior walls with a wood protective paint or coating.

Clear pathways of snow and ice

Take responsibility for the path directly outside your home. Remove any obstacles that could become hazards when covered by snow. When the snow falls, keep the path clear of snow and ice to ensure safe access for both yourself and others.

After the ice has melted, clear away any debris such as branches or slippy leaves, be careful with any heavy objects like fences that may have blown down.
Communicate with neighbours

As you’re chatting with your neighbours, it can be a good idea to coordinate with them to organise a plan for maintaining any outdoor areas that you share. 

Consider checking in with any neighbours who are elderly or vulnerable as they may need a hand to clean up or collect shopping during or following harsh weather conditions.