The winters are getting colder, and each year, when the chillier months roll around, the risk of a plumbing issue in your home is also increasing.
And when it comes to protecting your home, maintaining your plumbing is without a doubt one of the most crucial things you need to do.
This is particularly true in the colder months when a flood or lack of hot water could cause a much bigger problem for you and your family.
The good news is, it’s not all doom and gloom! There are some simple steps you can take each year as we approach the winter months that can help to prevent any plumbing issues.
In this post, we’re going to share with you our top tips for protecting your plumbing and making it through the chillier months warm, dry and problem-free.
1. Insulate your water pipes
When the temperature drops during the winter, you might find that your pipes start freezing. Not only is this inconvenient when you need water, but it can also cause the pipes to burst.
If it takes you a while to notice your burst pipe, this can lead to serious flooding.
So if you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to insulate your pipes. Most critically, you should insulate the pipes that run through unheated spaces such as exterior walls, unheated garages and floor cavities.
In some cases, you can do this yourself by getting some insulated pipe wrap or foam pipe covers and some duct tape.
However, if you’re a bit nervous about messing with your pipes or uncovering hidden pipes, you could also get an expert in to do this for you. Just make sure you get this done in time for when the colder temperatures hit.
2. Be careful with your winter cooking
In the colder months, many of us turn to wholesome, hearty meals to warm us up and make us feel cosy in the evenings. While this is great for your stomach, it can wreak havoc on your pipes!
These heavier meals are often a lot greasier - especially when cooking a roast dinner for a large family. And though it can be tempting to pour grease or oil down the sink, this can be more damaging in the winter months.
This is because the colder temperatures make it a lot easier for grease and oil to clump together and clog your pipes.
So our suggestion is that when you’re cooking a comforting meal for the family, you find other, safer ways to dispose of your oil, fat and grease. This can help to avoid blockages or further problems with your plumbing.
3. Make sure to disconnect your hose pipe
If you use your hose a lot during the summer, it can be tempting to just leave it connected to the tap so you don’t have to get it out every time. However, in the winter, if your hose is still connected to the outside tap, water can freeze inside the hose.
This can then back up into the pipe inside your house, which could cause your pipes to crack if it gets too bad.
4. Make sure you know where your stop valve is
It’s important that you know where the stop valve is located on the incoming water supply to your home.
Once you’ve located it, you can check that this is working correctly and that it can be switched on and off.
As long as it’s fine, there should be no issues, but it’s important to know where your stop valve is just in case you need to quickly shut off the water, especially during the winter months when a flood can be more inconvenient and cause larger issues.
5. Get yourself an annual service on your boiler
Finally, you should get your boiler serviced annually anyway, so why not schedule this in just before the colder months arrive?
This way, you can make sure that everything is working as it should be and that you (hopefully) aren’t going to experience any issues.
This can help to give you peace of mind and ensure that if there is a problem with your boiler or pipes, you can address this quickly before the winter arrives.