PRN: Don't Get Caught Out by the "Beast from the East" as Weather Reports Predict a Cold Front About to Hit
Don't Get Caught Out by the "Beast from the East" as Weather Reports Predict a Cold Front About to Hit
LONDON, February 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
As Britain's previously unseasonably mild winter comes to an abrupt halt with temperatures as low as -11C in some areas, home emergency experts HomeServe have prepared some top tips to help prevent homes being caught out by the freezing weather coming from Russia and the East. From protecting pipes to stocking up for possible snow, some simple preventative measures will help ward off the worst of the winter weather and reduce the need for the cost and hassle of call-outs.
We hope this is of interest. Further ways to protect the home in the face of cold weather can be found on the HomeServe website in the winter help and advice section.
1. Deal with dripping taps
Your first port of call should be to deal with any dripping taps. These are susceptible to freezing, so change the washers - a quick, cheap job that could save a fortune in the long run. HomeServe have published video advice on their website for how to fix leaking or dripping taps.
2. Insulate your pipes
Pipes don't burst where they freeze. It tends to be between the frozen section and the closed faucet, when pressure builds up as a result of the ice freezing and expanding. To help prevent them freezing in the first place, insulate them with lagging or a quarter-inch layer of newspapers. Wrapping this in tin foil improves the insulation further.
3. Protect your boiler
It's not just your water pipes that need insulating. Your boiler's condensate pipe - the plastic pipe that carries condensation from the boiler to the outside drain, usually through the un-insulated external wall - can also be susceptible to freezing. This can knock out your boiler at the worst time possible. Prevent having to defrost a condensate pipe by insulating this in the same way as a water pipe as above.
4. Find your stopcock
5. Learn how to defrost a pipe safely
If your pipes do freeze, you can often prevent them bursting by defrosting them safely. Turn off the mains, open the nearest tap to the frozen pipe and carefully thaw the ice in the pipe with a hairdryer or hot water bottles. Start at the tap end and work backwards towards the cold water tank. Take care as the pipe could burst at any time and spray water as it starts to thaw. For a quick step by step guide on how to do this safely go to the HomeServe website.
6. Stock up for snow
Last year, many local authorities ran out of salt, and in some cases didn't visit residential streets away from main roads, making driving safely in the snow very difficult. A cold snap could also catch them unawares. There's still time to stock-up on salt or sand to place on your driveway, along with a shovel to clear any snow. For icy paths, you can also use liberal handfuls of table salt, dishwasher salt or even cat litter to clear a path.