Look after your pipes this winter!
I don’t know if it’s technically winter yet, but some days it definitely feels like it! When it’s dark before I finish work, it makes me long for Spring! The pavements are covered with leaves, and I’d be surprised if anyone’s not using their heating yet!
One of the dreaded plumbing problems in winter – a burst pipe! So what do you need to do to prevent this happening?
When it gets very cold, heating doesn’t just keep you and your house warm, it also helps prevent frozen pipes, which can be a nightmare for you! A frozen pipe can burst and fill your home with water, which in turn will lead not only to getting the pipe fixed, but also a lot of re-decorating.
Good lagging or insulation on pipes under your floor will certainly help, but it’s essential to let warm water run through them on a regular basis through the winter months.
External pipes, and pipes in attics and basements are the most prone to freezing, as they won’t be helped by the warmth inside your home.
So what can you look out for to avoid being caught out?
1. Keep an eye on the outside temperature. If it doesn’t drop below freezing point then you don’t have anything to worry about, however, once that mercury drops below 0° it’s time to keep an eye.
2. Look out for frost. Keep an eye on any pipes you can see without too much trouble, even the slightest bit of visible frost is the first sign the pipe could be starting to freeze.
3. No water! By this point it’s probably too late to stop pipes from freezing, but you need to rectify the situation before a pipe bursts!
4. Unusual smells. Any odd smells coming from your sink, bath or shower could be a sign a pipe has frozen somewhere.
All of this can be rectified, but be prepared in advance and you won’t suffer any frozen or burst pipes this winter!
If the pipe has frozen but you see no signs of it bursting you need to warm the pipe GRADUALLY to defrost it, and make sure you keep warm water running through to prevent it happening again.
If the pipe is damaged or already burst, it’s time to turn off the water and call a plumber! Some home insurance policies might cover this.