Household issues Brits commonly face in the colder months include boiler break downs

Household issues you're likely to face during cold weather

Ed Barker
Authored by Ed Barker
Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 14:07

To assist homeowners with common issues that arise around our homes during the frosty months, have conducted the following research.

Experts at sought to collate a list of issues that households face most frequently during the colder months and utilised Google Trends data to analyse the average monthly online search interest for each identified issue from 22nd September 2020 to 20th March 2021*.

Household issues Brits commonly face in the colder months:



Google Trends Average Monthly Search Interest - % 

(between Sep 2020 - Mar 2021)


Peeling paint



Boiler breakdown



Burst pipes



Air leaks / drafts



Clogged / blocked gutters



Mould growth

125% can reveal that the number one problem many Brits experience around their house is peeling paint. With an average monthly search of 675% last autumn and winter season, UK households deemed it as the most common interior issue during the colder months. As paint cracks and peels, moisture will begin to appear and could ultimately lead to mould growth from the damp walls (touched on further in the study). 

To help prevent it: 

- Proper insulation, moisture barriers and sufficient ventilation will help reduce condensation which is the primary cause of peeling paint. 

- Paints that are formulated for cold weather are available from most reputable home improvement retailers. These are mixed with additives for freeze-resistance making them resilient to temperatures dropping and condensation.

Second on the list of common problems is boiler breakdown. With 489% of average monthly search interest in the UK, this breakdown is an issue Brits experience much more frequently in colder weather. The main causes of a boiler breakdown are loss of pressure, a faulty pipe, worn ignition burner or the pilot light going out.  


Alex Ion, spokesperson at has provided the following comment on heating and boiler problems:

“These are a few examples of problems that households encounter with their boilers: 

- The boiler makes a loud bang when it fires up

- Boiler constantly leaks 

- Boiler lockouts and condensate issues

- Parts of the radiators are cold and won’t heat up

- No heating or hot water

When encountering a heating and boiler breakdown, it is best to get a quote from a boiler repair specialist to begin the troubleshooting process, rather than identifying the problem yourselves as by doing so, you are more likely putting people in your own property at risk of danger without being Gas Safe registered.”

To help prevent it:

- Get your boiler serviced annually

- If your boiler has a pressure system, check it regularly and if required, adjust it to match the manual recommendations.

- Testing your central heating timer can also help to prevent future problems, as can inspecting your boiler for any signs of leaks or damage

Burst pipes are another problem that many have experienced during the colder months, with a 403% average search interest. This occurs when the temperature drops, pipes are then at risk of freezing.

To help prevent it:

- The best way to prevent bursting pipes is sealing off and insulating areas in your home that are prone to draft.

Following on the list with 275% average search volume, air leaks and drafts are household problems that many of us can relate to during the colder months. Draft and air leaks are most often caused by a lack of proper insulation.

To help prevent it:

- Pay attention to the quality of insulation especially around window seals, doors or attics as this is where most of the heat in the house is lost.

- Sealing your leaks with spray foam, caulk or weather stripping can help with preventing this issue and in return reduce your utility bills.

Gutter problems usually occur at any time in the year, but with a 243% average monthly interest last season, people can agree that clogged gutters are also the most prevalent during the winter months. From ice dams to icicles and clogs in the downspout, there are many causes - but these can be prevented.

To help prevent it:

- Clear your downspouts, troughs and rain chains before the temperature drops, allowing water to flow quickly which prevents freezing.

- Installing heating devices in the gutter troughs which will help in preventing ice dams from forming.  

With a 125% monthly average search during the colder months, mould growth appears to be an issue people experience in their homes. The likelihood of mould growth is most prominent during the winter as this creates the ideal environment in our homes -  when there’s no sufficient ventilation and the walls become damp from condensation.

To help prevent it:

- Controlling moisture is the key to controlling and preventing mould, so make sure there is good air circulation in your home.

- Use an exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, and washing the dishes.

- Act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Dry out the area and determine if the source of condensation is from a leak or the result of high humidity.

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