One in 20 households suffered winter-related damage in 2009, at an average cost of £574, new research has shown.
Almost half (44%) of affected houses suffered damage to the roof, while 40% saw the garden affected and 36% had to pay for repairs to fencing and walls, potentially leaving homeowners out of pocket if they had insufficient home insurance.
The research for insurer Direct Line also found that one in three properties experienced a power failure, 24% had a boiler or central heating problem and burst pipes affected 17%.
Direct Line home expert Jenny Trueman said: "More than 2.6 million households suffered damage from last winter's extreme weather and, with average bills of £574, it is clear that planning ahead to avoid potential problems is essential.
"The early onset of winter this year ought to be a warning for homeowners to prepare for the months ahead. Insurance will cover the costs of damage but it is better to avoid suffering damage if at all possible."