If you are a homeowner you are probably already aware of the dangers of freezing pipes. As water freezes it will expand, potentially cracking the pipes and appliances. When the water defrosts you suddenly find you have a leak; which can cause a lot of damage very quickly.
If you do experience an issue or need assistance in getting ready for winter then it is advisable to contact plumbing professionals; but in the meantime you can prepare for the freezing weather by completing these maintenance tasks:
There are several things you can do to reduce the chance of getting cracked pipes:
- Shut off and drain any outside water works. You are unlikely to need them and they can’t freeze if there is not water in them.
- Wrap all outdoor pipes and faucets in foam to help protect them from the cold; you don’t want water further up the line freezing because the pipe has got so cold.
- When it’s really freezing leave your inside taps on a slow drip. This will keep the water moving and reduce the chance of it freezing.
FIND YOUR VALVE
If you do have an issue it is very important to know where all the valves are. You should locate all of them, especially the main one for your home and make a note of where they are. You can then shut them off quickly if you do develop an issue.
You need to consider what temperature your thermostat currently is at, and whether you can turn it up a degree or two for an extra bit of warmth. You can also reverse the direction of any ceiling fans you have as this will push heat down instead of keeping it at ceiling level.
Your gutters can quickly become blocked with leaves during the autumn. This is something that needs to be removed regularly as blocked gutters can cause still water which is likely to freeze. This can cause issues as the gutters may not then drain the water properly and will overflow; potentially leaking into your home.
If you have a real fire then you need to have the chimney swept during the summer to make sure it is ready to use in the winter. If you don’t do this, debris and carbon deposits can quickly catch fire and ruin your home during the coldest times of the year.
SEAL YOUR WINDOWS
Your windows should be double-glazed to ensure they help the heat stay inside your home. However, they are only as effective as the seal round them. Check all windows and doors to ensure the seal is effective. If it isn’t seal it immediately.
These are just a few ways you can maintain your home in order to combat the freezing weather this month. It is also important to keep some emergency supplies to hand; this will ensure you are able to deal with any storms or snowy weather that keeps you shut inside your home. Spare food, drink and candles are all good ideas! Let me know if you have any other cold weather tips by leaving me a comment below.