Make sure you are prepared in case the weather takes a turn for the cold, especially if you are going away over Christmas.
It may be unseasonable mild at the moment (and for many people that’s causing devastating flooding issues) but our British weather has a habit of surprising us. Should the temperatures take a dip, then frozen pipes and escape of water will again be the main problem that many of us will suffer over the winter period.
According to the ABI an average claim for burst pipe damage is between £6,500 to £7,500. During a recent cold winter insurers handled 3,500 claims for burst pipe damage every day.
Follow these simple steps and don’t be one of the thousands left with the misery of freezing pipes this winter.
Preparing for winter
- Repair any dripping taps. Now is the time to re-washer any dripping taps, which could freeze and block your pipes.
- Checking your lagging. All pipes and tanks in loft spaces, and anywhere else which could be liable to freezing, should be fully lagged
- Put insulating jackets around water tanks and cisterns
- Make sure you know where the stopcock is to turn off the water to your property and that if you find frozen pipes you do this immediately – even if it is still frozen. In many properties there is one underneath the kitchen sink while there will also be one outside the property.
Be aware of combi-boiler risk
- One issue that often occurs which is not so obvious is the condensate pipe that comes out of combi-boilers.
- The diameter of these is often too small and in many instances they are not lagged, causing them to freeze and the boiler to stop working. Not only will this result in a cold house for you, but it can also lead to other frozen pipes.
- For reference, external condensate pipes should be a minimum diameter of 32mm and where they are less, lagging should certainly be in place
If you are going away
- Leave your heating on for at least an hour a day while you are away from home. In severe weather, or if severe weather is forecast, you should always leave your heating on day and night at your usual temperature setting – whether you are at home or not
- If it is very cold consider opening your loft trap door. This allows warm air from other parts of the house to circulate in the loft and will help prevent pipes freezing
- Insulate outside taps or turn off their water supply and drain them
- Ask a friend or relative to visit your home regularly while you are away. This will mean that, if you do suffer a burst pipe, it will be detected as soon as possible, and the damage caused will be minimised. Provide them with emergency contact details, so that in the event of a problem arising, they will know what to do and who to contact.
- If you are going to be away for more than 60 days, you must let your insurer know or you could end up invalidating your cover.
If your pipes do freeze
- Turn your water off at the main stopcock and thaw them with a hairdryer or hot water bottle
- If a pipe has burst, turn off the water at the main stopcock. Switch off your central heating and any other water heating installations. Open all the taps to drain the system. Make sure professional repairs are carried out before you turn anything back on
- Keep contact details for your insurance company helpline near your phone
Check your Insurance
Make sure you have adequate insurance in place so that should you suffer from frozen pipes you will be covered.
If you would like any further information or would like us to provide a quotation please contact us on 01489 579808 or via our webform.