WINTER PROOF YOUR HOME
WINTER PROOF YOUR HOME
During the cold winter months, temperature changes can have an adverse effect on your home. Prevent damage and/or mishaps from happening and winter-proof your home now! Don’t know what to do? No need to worry, we have you covered, check out our hints and tips below:
Clear-out Your Gutters
- Naturally your gutters will have some sticks and leaves in them and with the increase of rain, and possibly even snow, you might find that they get blocked. Blockages could cause damp getting into your walls, causing potentially costly damage. Prevent blockages before they happen and get up that ladder!
Insulate Your Loft
- Extra loft insulation will do only good, so if you can, get some extra layers installed!
Bleed Your Radiators
- It sounds complicated but it really isn’t, so if your radiators are cold at the top and hot at the bottom, they’ll need bleeding. It will vastly improve your whole heating system!
- British Gas recommends: “Turn off your heating and get a cloth and a bleed key ready. At the top of your radiator, turn the valve anti-clockwise until you hear a hiss (don’t worry, it’s only air). Hold a rag below to catch any water that drips. Once water starts to flow, tighten the value up and you’re done.
Leave The Cold Outside – Where It Belongs!
- Seal any gaps you have round your windows and doors that might be letting in a draught! Get creative and make yourself a draught excluder… or just buy one!
- We get lots of calls from Tenants telling us that their pipes are blocked and the water isn’t going down the plug hole. This is usually because the pipes are frozen. The only way to defrost the pipes is to apply direct heat to the pipes – a time consuming process for our plumbers and heating engineers and an inconvenience for our Tenants. In order to reduce the chances of pipes freezing, we would ask you to:
- Keep heating on in the bathroom and kitchen, a low setting is enough to keep the frost away
- Keep plugs in plug holes over night; kitchen sink, bathroom wash basin and bath
- Keep internal doors slightly open to allow warm air to circulate
- Should you experience frozen pipes we would expect you to pour warm, not boiling, water down the affected pipe in attempt to defrost the pipe before you call us to send out a plumber.
- Wrap your pipes up warm with lagging. Check the problem areas first, where the pipes run outside or in cold areas of your home, like your garage. Cut the lagging to length, wrap up the straight bits and don’t worry about the kinks.
- If you are going away during the winter period, for example, going home to your parents for Christmas or visiting friends for Christmas, we would like to ask you to be thoughtful of the potential of pipes bursting. This is more likely to happen when the frost sets in. To increase avoidance of that happening please remember to set a timer on your boiler to automatically turn on your heating during the night and early morning; again you will only need to have the heating on a low setting.
- If they do happen to burst, then do locate your stop cock. It’s normally under your sink. Look for a tap or a lever on your copper pipes and turn it clockwise to switch it off.
- Winter is also a time when we experience many problems with boilers, as at this time of year they are practically always running, they can inevitably break down. Should this happen to you please call our office and we will send a contractor to you as soon as possible.
- With less daylight throughout the winter months this unfortunately means an increase in burglaries, please be extra vigilant throughout this time and remember to keep your windows closed and doors locked when you are not in your property.
- If you are going away for the festive period, ensure your home is secure. Lock gates, set your alarm, lock all windows, set a light on a timer.
- If you are leaving for a longer period of time, you might want to consider turning off the water supply. To do this, you will need to turn off the water supply at the main stop cock and open all taps, hot and cold, to drain water from roof storage tank and pipes. Circulating water central heating systems will also need to be drained (and refilled on return before restarting).
I hope these hints and tips get your home ready for the cold ahead! If you have any more hints and tips you would like to share with us, then please Tweet us @thornleygroves