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    Cold Weather and Your Home: Are You Prepared?

    October is here and the nights are starting to draw in. The clocks are due to go back and (although you may shudder at the mention!) Christmas is only around the corner.

    All this means that the weather is turning colder. As mornings become frosty, most of us begin to turn our central heating on more and more often.

    Are you aware, however, of the risks of burst water and heating pipes in the colder weather?

    Every year, our maintenance team has to attend a number of water- and heating-related emergencies in the winter months. When a leak has sprung, it needs immediate attention to limit the potential damage to your home.

    A burst pipe can wreak havoc, causing water to cascade though a building, which can bring down ceilings and cause thousands of pounds’ worth of damage to the property’s contents.

    By following these simple precautions, you can minimise the risk, however, of suffering from burst utility pipes this winter:

    1. In chilly weather, always maintain at least a low level of heat in your property day and night. This is especially important if the property is to be left empty for several days, perhaps over the Christmas period.
    1. Make sure your boiler frost thermostat is working, meaning that the heating will come on automatically during the night if the temperature approaches freezing.
    1. Check that waste pipes and boiler-overflow pipes aren’t icing up, as this could cause a boiler breakdown just when you need it most. Pipes can be insulated to help prevent this.
    1. Have any minor leaks and dripping taps fixed, as both can lead to bigger problems, which include burst pipes.
    1. Think about having an annual boiler service, as prevention is better than cure – and an efficient heating system will also save you money on energy bills.
    1. Make sure that you are aware of the location of stop taps, ensuring that they are easy to shut off in case of an emergency.

    If the worst happens and you have a burst pipe:

    • Turn off the stop tap and open all sink taps to drain off as much water as possible.
    • If the heating system is affected, find the system drain and/or bleed values and drain it down, releasing the system pressure as quickly as possible.
    • Locate any leaks and catch leaking water in containers, whilst temporarily lagging (taping up) the leaking pipe.

    Remember: prevention is better than cure – and it can help to ensure that you have continuous access to heating and hot water throughout the colder part of the year.

    If you have a pipe-related emergency or if you have any questions, the Julie Twist Properties in-house maintenance team can help.




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