Landscape view of wintery countryside
Published on 9th November 2022

Winter-proof your home: Tips from our property maintenance experts

As we move into the colder months, and all face larger household bills, our very own Gateway Facilities Management team has shared some guidance on keeping your property in good shape.

Regularly maintaining your home is the best way to prevent unwanted, and potentially costly, surprises. While this can sometimes feel like being caught in a revolving door, lots of little activities add up and are really worth it.

Our dedicated Facilities Management team members know all about the value of being proactive when maintaining homes. Every day, they look after a wide portfolio of properties under our care, pre-empting common problems and addressing any issues without delay. What’s more – as the team points out – carrying out a few seasonal tasks could also help save on energy bills. We’d all welcome that as the temperature dips!

From checking and bleeding radiators so they work effectively, to reviewing your home insurance, click the link below for our expert tips.

Ten winter-proof tips

1. Check your radiators and bleed them, if needed

Run the heating for a while and, if any radiators are colder at the top than the bottom, they need bleeding. This will remove trapped air inside the system and is easy to do using a standard radiator key. First, make sure you turn the heating off, covering the floor around the radiator to avoid spills. Once you’ve bled your radiators, your central heating system will run more efficiently, keeping you warm while saving on energy bills. Check the pressure on the boiler gauge to see if this is low as you may need to ‘top up’ your boiler. Make sure you have the manual to hand or know how to do this using the lever or tap (filling loop)

2. Prevent condensation and mould

As we go about our day, water vapour is created in our homes. Astonishingly, the average family produces two and a half buckets of water a day. Given that volume, it’s important that moisture isn’t trapped inside a property, as this leads to condensation, mould growth and even costly damage.

To help prevent this, check that the air bricks outside your property aren’t blocked, extractor fans are working and that you make use of any trickle vents in windows. As well as ventilating your home, including opening windows for a short period, it’s also key to heat it properly. For more advice, take a look at our guide on preventing condensation and mould growth.

3. Know where to find the stopcock

If there’s a leak in your home, you’ll be able to turn off the main water supply straightaway using the stopcock – limiting damage and avoiding an insurance claim.

4. Sweep working chimneys

Depending on the fuel you burn, working chimneys need regularly sweeping, up to four times a year. The free passage of dangerous combustion gasses prevents chimney fires and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Always use a professional. For further guidance, visit the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (

5. Insulate outside taps and pipes

This will stop them from freezing over winter and potentially bursting.

6. Take care of the garden furniture

Cleaning and storing items away for the autumn and winter will make sure your garden furniture lasts longer. Tether outside items, including trampolines, in case of storms.

7. Pick up leaves by external walls

Simply by doing this quick task, you’ll help prevent the risk of damp.

8. Check gutters, downpipes and roofs

As leaves fall, gutters and drainpipes can get blocked, preventing the free flow of rainwater away from your property. If this is your responsibility, unblocking these will prevent water damage, which is often expensive to put right. It’s worth securely fixing pipes that are loose too. Check the roof for missing tiles and any flat roof for water puddles or damage. Put issues right straightaway.

9. Know what you’re responsible for outside your property

Owners of apartments are responsible for maintaining their own property. This usually means its interior, but you may also need to take care of repairs to exterior parts. That could be windows and window frames, which can let in water and cold if they’re not well maintained. If you need any advice here, just get in touch.

10. Check your insurance policy

Make sure you’re fully covered for your household contents, as well as the buildings insurance if that’s your responsibility. As a customer of the Gateway Group, you can benefit from highly competitive policies from our own company, Associated Insurance Services.

Back to news

Speak to a member of
our dedicated team