Winter is fast approaching, I can feel the change in the temperature without relying on my vehicles on board computer!
At this time of year our mind naturally is focused on Christmas and the up coming holidays and present hunting, and we tend to shy away from any sort of do it yourself or home maintenance – but beware, now is the time to undertake a basic check of your household Plumbing as its the season of burst pipes!
If you do have a burst pipe due to freezing or any other reason, the damage to your house could be substantial. I remember being called to a three story house by a neighbour of the owners as they had gone away. The neighbour noticed the windows of the house appeared to have condensation on them, which being a new build was unusual. The neighbour had looked through the letterbox to see water running down the hallway walls and forming a rather deep pool on the floor. She called me as I lived around the corner and we decided I had to break in. After breaking the door glass I was able to gain access and raced up the stairs to try and locate the leak. There was a burst pipe in the loft, caused by freezing and the mains water had been running freely into the loft of the house for days – as you can imagine the damage was huge – down through all three storys of the house. Not the best thing to come home to after a winter break!!
There are easy steps to combat frozen/burst pipes, and here they are:
Lagging and more lagging!! Make sure all exposed pipes are lagged using the round foam tubing that is readily available from most DIY outlets. Its cheap and simple and very effective.
Make sure the water storage tank is also lagged well up its sides and over the top.
Make sure you know where your stop cock is and that it is moving freely – check this regularly throughout the year. And turn the water off if you are going away.
If you are going away, set your boiler to come on a couple of times a day on a low setting just to keep things fluid and moving. Most modern boilers have a frost protection thermostat, which turns on automatically if the temperature drops to a level that will cause your pipes to freeze.
Enjoy the upcoming holidays – and keep that house dry!