Property news: Don’t get caught out in the cold

Property for sale
Property for sale

With freezing temperatures inevitable, homeowners are being warned to take preventative measures when it comes to burst water pipes and tanks.

Cold snaps can sometimes come as a nasty surprise, but by being properly prepared – say estate agents Harrison Murray – there is more chance of heading off any winter misery.

In conjunction with home insurance partners RSA – Harrison Murray and The Nottingham Building Society have the following advice to help people protect their homes and limit the damage.

You can help prevent freezing pipes by:

Keeping the central heating set to a minimum of 10-12 degrees. If you go away or your property is empty, leave the heating on low as this will keep the water circulating and also to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Also a warm home makes it more appealing to a potential buyer.

Removing a square of loft insulation in the area underneath the cold-water tank so that heat can penetrate the ceiling and prevent it from freezing. In addition if you are going away for the weekend, open the loft door to allow circulation of heat to prevent freezing.

Insulating your pipes.

Considering turning off the water at the stopcock and draining down the system if you are away for a longer period.

Making sure you know that your insurance documents are kept a safe place, and that you can easily find them in an emergency.

If you find your pipes have burst:

Turn off water at the stopcock.

Do not use toilet/shower/basin/bath if there is a possibility one of them is the source of the leak.

If you are sure it’s not the source, fill the bath for a supply of water – you might need it.

Turn off the heating.

Remove pictures from any affected rooms as the moisture may damage them.

Try to lift furniture or it may soak moisture up the legs/feet.

Do not leave internal doors shut if they are affected by water as they may swell and not open properly.

If electricity is affected, turn off power at the consumer unit. If there is any doubt call a qualified electrician.

Where there are bowing ceilings, move any valuables, pierce the ceiling with a screwdriver and catch the water in a container.