Top tips to keep your property water safe during winter.
Cold temperatures during winter can cause the water inside pipes to freeze – leading to bursts, floods and the misery of being without water for drinking, cooking, and washing.
However, research shows, despite 90 percent of households in the UK saying they know water pipes can freeze and burst in cold weather, only 23 percent insulate their pipes and only 20 percent have a plumber’s number to hand in case of emergencies. Contact us.
So here are our top tips for protecting your property from the winter weather:
1.Turn off Outside Taps and disconnect garden hoses
During the winter months, it is essential to ensure that all the water to the outside taps is turned off at the valve to avoid the water freezing and causing a burst. It is also a good idea to disconnect the garden hose; drain any residual water from hosepipes to protect them from freezing and becoming damaged – roll them up and store them in the shed till springtime.
2. Keep your Central Heating on at a Low Level
Burst pipes are one of the most common occurrences of a winter freeze. You can minimise this risk by setting your heating to come on for an hour or two every day. If you are leaving your property empty over winter, although you may be tempted to turn the heating right down to save money, we would recommend going no lower than 13 degrees Celsius. This will avoid the temperature of your property dropping to freezing point and being at risk of your pipes freezing causing a burst pipe.
3. Insulate Pipes
We would also recommend that you check that all your pipes are insulated. This is a simple job to carry out and lagging material can be purchased at most DIY stores, 0r Contact us.
4. Locate your Stopcock valve
The most important point of all is that you must be aware of the location of your stopcock valve within your property. If the inevitable is to happen and you have a burst pipe; the first step you must take is to turn off the water supply to the house. This will reduce the level of damage that can be caused by the leaking water. Here is a video by Scottish water on How to find your stop valve.
5. Leaving your property unattended over the winter?
It is a good idea to leave your heating on at a low level.
Leave a key with a neighbour, that way if there is an emergency, particularly if you reside in a flat, access can be gained quickly, reducing the level of damage caused by the burst or leak.
Another option is to drain the water system before you go away. In order to do this, you need to turn off the main valve and run every hot and cold water fixture until it stops. If in doubt, consult a qualified plumber.
What to do in an emergency situation:
If you experience a burst pipe this winter this first thing to do is locate your stopcock and turn off the water to your property. This will limit the damage the escaped water can make to your property. Prior to doing this, it is a good idea to fill the kettle and a couple of pans with water. So you have some water until the water can be switched back on.
Use old towels to mop up any excess water caused by the leak. You can also use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture.
Open all the taps to drain the water and relieve the pressure as the ice melts.
Contact your insurance company to assess the damage.
Call a plumber to repair the burst pipe as soon as possible.