Blog Post

Look after your home this winter

Nov 21, 2011, 15:42 PM by David Boyd

There are many ways that cold weather can be prevented from causing damage to your home and belongings.

Get to know your home Make sure you know where the main stopcock for your water supply is located and check that it turns easily. It is usually near where the water pipe enters the house or under the kitchen sink.

Keep your house warm To avoid burst pipes and damage to your home this winter keep your home reasonably warm day and night. During cold weather keep the heating on. If you have thermostatic radiator valves make sure these are all on. A room used left often should still have the thermostat value on low, to allow warm water to run through the radiators.

Your heating will be more efficient if it is on a lower temperature for longer periods of time. Set your timer to come on twice daily, usually in the morning and at night as these are often the coldest times.

Open or set aside the hatch to the loft space (if you have one). This will provide additional protection if your water tank and pipes are located in the loft. Opening the doors of your kitchen sink unit, and allowing the warmer air to circulate around the pipes, will also help prevent them freezing.

If your water supply becomes frozen, what action should you take? • Turn off the water supply at the main stopcock • Turn on all cold taps to drain the system • Flush the toilet • Do not turn hot water taps on as the hot water cylinder may • Collapse if the pipes feeding it are frozen • Switch off the central heating and immersion heater • Collect water in the bath for washing and flushing the toilet • Report the problem by telephoning 0161 257 2441

Remember! Frozen pipes must be defrosted slowly. Never use a fierce heat or a naked flame to defrost pipes, as this may cause the pipes to burst. Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for any cracks or leaks. If these are detected, turn the water off again and reporting it as a burst pipe.

If your pipes burst, what action should you take? If you have not already done so, take all of the steps mentioned above in relation to frozen pipes (turning off the stopcock, draining the system etc). If water leaks near your electrics or electrical appliances, switch off the mains immediately. If your mains switch is wet, don’t touch it! Report the burst by telephoning 0161 257 2441.

If you live in a flat and are getting water in from the flat above, please make every effort to contact them direct, you should also contact the building manager or building management company. Our plumbers cannot arrange access to a property that we do not manage. If water is gathering in your ceiling, and it is in danger of collapse, place a bucket or basin under the affected area and carefully puncture the ceiling to let the water drain away.

Home Contents Insurance We strongly recommend you insure your home for damage to furniture and fittings, personal possessions and redecoration. PAD4U and your landlord do not insure your belongings, and has no responsibility to assist in drying out or replacing items damaged by burst pipes.

Taking a trip? If you are away from your home for any length of time, ensure that the heating system is left on timer at a low temperature. We advise that you pass your contact details on to neighbours and friends so that in the event of an emergency you can be reached easily. We also advise that you ensure we have your up to date contact details and a next of kin that we can contact in case of emergency.

Other useful telephone numbers National Grid (for gas leaks)......................................0800 111 999 United utilities (for burst water mains)............... 0845 746 2200

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