After a mild start to the winter, many of us have experienced our first serious snowfalls over the past couple of weeks.
But while snow can be a lot of fun, it can also cause problems out on the roads and at home – especially when coupled with below-freezing temperatures. Here’s a rundown of how to cope.
If you’re out and about
Snow, ice and roads are not a great combination, so it’s important you drive carefully and take precautions if you do need to head out.
Now is a good time either to check your breakdown cover is up to date, or to put a policy in place.
And make sure you have your insurer’s emergency number as well as your own policy details with you in the car.
Prepare for the worst
While breakdown insurance is a good back-stop, there are other essentials that you should take with you on every cold-weather trip.
The likes of anti-freeze, screen wash, a torch and extra warm clothing should all be part of your winter car survival kit.
And if you haven’t yet given your motor a thorough winter check, it’s not too late to do so now.
Also, be on the lookout for other cold-weather hazards, such as opportunist thieves who steal cars which have been left by their owners to de-frost on icy mornings.
If you leave your car unattended with the keys in the ignition, there’s a good chance your insurers will turn down a claim in the event of a theft.
Prevent problems at home
Sub-zero temperatures also present a challenge in the home, most commonly in the form of frozen pipes. Ice can cause pipes to split, leading to leaks when the weather warms up again.
Experts say you should keep pipes in colder areas, such as your loft, well insulated – and consider keeping your central heating on at a low level if you’re planning to be away for a few days.
If you do find a frozen pipe which hasn’t burst, you should attempt to thaw it out gently – have a look at our video for more guidance.
Check also whether your boiler is insured against breakdown: it may be covered on your home insurance, and if not consider taking out a separate policy.
- Let us know how you’re coping in the snow – send your pictures to email@example.com and leave a comment below.