Winter in the UK has certainly hit this week will almost all parts of the country seeing snow over the last couple of days. With the freeze expected to continue for the next few days, if you haven’t already, now’s a good time to do a quick spot check on your plumbing and drainage to ensure you don’t wake up to a disaster as temperatures drop overnight.
Here’s some top tips to keep your property safe this winter.
Keep an eye on the weather
If you are leaving your property for an extended period of time, it may be a good idea to check the weather before you leave. If you normally turn your heating off whilst you are away, if temperatures are set to fall then it may be a good idea to change your settings so that the heating and hot water come on for a period. Alternatively, if you have installed a smart device such as Hive (https://www.hivehome.com/), you can activate your heating remotely if temperatures do take a tumble. You can download the BBC weather app, or visit their website for regular updates: https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather
Make sure your gutters are cleared regularly. Autumn, although a beautiful season, can cause untold problems with falling leaves and debris from storms. If your gutters are blocked, ice can form leading to damage and breaks. When you are clearing your gutters, inspect them carefully for existing cracks and breaks and get them repaired immediately. Contact a drainage supplier who will be able to help you match your existing gutters and get them shipped to you quickly. You can also buy gutter guards to prevent your gutters clogging up in the future.
Christmas may be a distant memory but if you have and are continuing to pour fats and oils down your sink you could be heading for a plumbing disaster. In cold weather, fats and oils will congregate in your drains and solidify. Never pour fats, oil and grease down your sink. If you have grease left over in a frying pan, wait for the grease to cool and then wipe away with a clean paper towel. For larger quantities wait for the oil or fat too cool and then pour into an old pot with a lid. Once it has completely cooled, dispose of the container in your rubbish.
Make sure any exposed pipework is insulated properly to avoid water freezing in your pipes. Burst pipes can quickly and easily flood a property causing huge amounts of damage. Adding foam insulation jackets that easily wrap around your pipework will help prevent frozen pipes. You should also fill any holes and cracks in walls or cavities to stop cold air penetrating your property and keep doors open to increase circulation throughout your home. Additionally, don’t forget your outside taps and pipework. Turn off and drain any outside taps and pipes and if they are in use, lag them heavily.