Homeowners are being urged to take “preventative steps” to prevent snow storms from causing misery over the next few days. Heavy snow has been forecast by the Met Office for much of the Britain and Halifax is calling on householders to ensure their homes are prepared for a big freeze.

Due to the fact that freezing temperatures can cause burst pipes – especially in the loft, homeowners are being urged to lag any exposed water pipes. In addition, the tops and sides of water tanks should be insulated – a task which many may like to consider taking out personal loans to complete.

But homeowners are best prepared for a storm by ensuring their home is protected all year round. Taking out a secured loan to finance the replacement of broken tiles and unsafe chimney pots, and to pay for roof pointing is an option. Hiring a professional roofing contractor to carry out this kind of work as soon as possible is recommended.

Paying for loft insulation, thicker curtains and an energy-efficient central heating system should also be considered and these can be paid by successfully searching for secured loans online.

In related advice, Halifax stated that the boiler, central heating and gas fires are serviced at least once a year by a CORGI-registered gas professional to make sure they are safe. Vicky Emmott from Halifax Home Insurance commented: “Winter is the time when we retreat to the warmth and safety of our homes, but before doing so there are some essential checks that need to be carried out. With home emergencies, prevention is certainly better than the cure and many claims could be avoided if householders spent a small amount of time preparing for the coming bad weather.”

Cornhill Direct agrees that many householders are failing to winter-proof their homes, with 43 and 30 per cent respectively saying they have no protective lagging around water pipes or around their water tank. Simon Coughlin, spokesman for the insurer, said that before it gets too cold, people should inspect their pipes for cracks, leaks or other damage. And NFU Mutual has also called upon homeowners to take precautionary measures, especially if they own a property in the countryside as isolated areas are often the most vulnerable to bad weather conditions.

The insurer stressed that under the terms of many home insurance policies, homeowners are required to keep their houses in a good state of repair. Occasional home loans to cover the costs of such work can help to ease the associated financial burden.

According to the Met Office a short cold snap will be experienced before the end of the week as Arctic air sweeps south from Friday. Heavy snow warnings for north and west England and all of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been issued. Up to 10cm of snow could be recorded in Northern Ireland, Scotland, north-west England and north Wales, Mr Saunders added.

Meanwhile, those who are confident that their home is in good enough shape to bear the brunt of the winter onslaught might like to consider a loan as a means of increasing their property’s value. Recent data from Halifax suggested that those conducting rennovations on their home intended to increase its value by as much as 5,000 pounds.