Protecting your home from cold weather

Winter is just around the corner and for us, at Wave Plumbing, it’s a busy time for urgent repairs. Over the years I noticed that a lot of our winter emergency jobs could have been easily avoided with a little bit of planning. 

Here’s a summary of things you can do to get your home and plumbing ready for winter. These are cheap maintenance jobs that you can either do yourself or get a qualified plumber to help you (we’re here to help, wink, wink) and they’ll spare you the headache and the cost during the cold months. 

Prevent your pipes from freezing 

You can insulate your pipes with specific foam pipe insulation available from any hardware shops, such as B&Q or ScrewFix. This is a good and cheap method of keeping your pipework warm. 

If you go away during winter, although this year we’ll probably all stay home, make sure to leave your heating on for a few hours a day on low-temperature setting. 

What to do if your pipes freeze?

Most frozen pipes happen outside or in the attic so look out for these. 

  • Open a few taps and see how many are affected. If it’s just one, you can most likely sort the problem out yourself. If it’s more than one, it’s probably best to give us a call. 
  • If it’s inside, turn the heating on in the house – that would normally thaw the problem
  • If it’s outside, feel with your hand (if you can) where the ice is. 
  • YOu can then apply gradual warmth to it by using a hairdryer if it’s possible. If you can’t plug it in anywhere, wrap a warm cloth around the area and wait for it to thaw. Remember – never use open fire on pipework as you could crack it. 

Clear your gutters

Clogged up gutters can get damaged if the blockages freeze and expand. They could also cause localised leaks into your house so definitely worth sorting them out. 

If you’re able to reach them, clear out leaves, moss, etc. Make sure you wear protecting gloves and goggles to avoid contamination from bird droppings. 

If you can’t reach them, give us a call and we can clear them for you. 

Get your boiler serviced

Broken boiler means no hot water and no heating in your home. With us not being able to travel and stay with family this year, it’s even more important than ever to make sure your boiler is in top condition. 

Make sure you get a GasSafe engineer (\) to service your boiler. 

Secure outdoor taps

Outdoor taps are the ones most likely to freeze in cold weather. You can shut off the outdoor valve and even buy a type of covering – like a teapot cozy but for taps. 

Bleed your radiators

Bleeding the radiators is simply getting the air out of your central heating system so that the water can go round and the system is a lot more efficient. This is a simple maintenance jobs that some people are comfortable doing themselves or we can do it for you. Air-free central heating system also means no radiator knocking noises!

Avoid greasy pipes

It’s best to avoid putting cooking oil into a sink. When it’s cold, the grease is more likely to clog up the pipework. We recommend pouring the oil into a jar/ container that you’re getting rid of and putting it in the bin.