Winter weather can cause serious damage to your home and the things in it. You can cut down the risk if you follow this advice:
- Check you know how to use your heating system properly and also where the stop valves are;
- keep the heat in by fitting draught-proofing, insulation and pipe lagging;
- if you won’t be in your house for more than a few days turn off the water and drain the plumbing system. If possible leave a key with a neighbour or relative and ask them to check your house regularly;
- if the pipes freeze and are part of the hot water system, turn off or put out the source of heat eg immersion heater, gas boiler, coal fire with back boiler; and
- if a pipe does burst, turn off the water at the main stop valve in the house, turn on the taps, switch off the boiler and switch off the immersion or water heating system.
In the event of a burst pipe council tenants should contact the housing repairs centre on 01382 434343. Owner occupiers should contact a registered plumber.
Prevention is better than cure, so remember:
- Repair dripping taps and ball valves;
- if you put salt in the waste trap of sinks, baths, basins and toilets it can prevent freezing; and
- ensure all taps are turned off as running taps may cause water pipes to freeze.
You should always make sure you have adequate insurance to cover your household goods and personal belongings.