Make sure you avoid expensive damage caused by frozen and burst pipes by following our top tips for winter survival.
If a pipe containing water is exposed to temperatures below zero, there is a high chance it will freeze. And when hot water comes through that frozen pipe it will more than likely crack and burst, causing quite a bit of costly, but avoidable damage.
Heating and lagging
One easy way you can help prevent frozen pipes is to keep your heating running at regular intervals. Even if you’re not at home it’s advisable to have the heating on a timer to give some warmth through the day. It may seem wasteful but it will cost a lot less than the potential damage caused by a burst pipe; especially if there’s flood damage.
Lagging your pipes and keeping your water tank well insulated is also a great way to stop the vulnerable spots getting hit by the cold. Your water tank is usually held in one of the coldest parts of the house, such as the attic, so insulating your tank and connecting pipes in these spaces before the temperature plummets is very important.
If you find a pipe that’s frozen, you’ll need to try and thaw it out – but don’t heat the pipe too fast or it may burst or crack. Try a gentle approach using a hot water bottle.
Finding your stopcock
If you haven’t already, make sure you know where your stopcock is and check that it’s in good working order to prevent the risk of flooding.
In the event a pipe does burst, you’ll need to turn off the stopcock to stop the water supply immediately and reduce water damage. Make sure you turn off the central heating and turn on all the taps to help drain any leftover water from the system. If you can’t fix the damage yourself then contact a plumber or call your insurance company who may be able to recommend or arrange one and you can start the process of making a claim on your cover.
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