Have you taken precautions to protect your property’s water pipes from freezing and bursting?

With an extreme winter predicted for the UK, have you taken precautions to protect your property’s water pipes from freezing and bursting?

 With an extreme winter predicted for the UK, have you taken precautions to protect your property’s water pipes from freezing and bursting?

Many weather forecasters are predicting the coldest winter for over a decade, with temperatures starting to dip already, have you taken precautions to reduce your property’s risk of freezing and subsequently bursting water pipes?


Extreme cold temperatures can enable the water within a property’s pipe system to freeze and expand putting pressure on the pipes which can lead to cracks. Then when the water melts, as temperatures rise, it inevitably escapes through the gaps leading to potential water damage and expensive repair bills.


By taking the time to implement some simple yet effective measures today, you can protect your home and lessen your chance of problems tomorrow.


How can I protect my property’s water pipes this winter?


  • Pipe lagging


Pipe lagging insulates water pipes and keeps the water within from freezing. It is available in various diameters depending on the level of insulation you require. It is designed to fit with ease and available to cover bends and corners in addition to the straight pipes themselves ensuring all sections are covered and protected. It is readily available from DIY stores and quite inexpensive to purchase.


  • Water tank jacket


Your cold water tank may be vulnerable to freezing in cold temperatures particularly if it is located in the attic, an unheated part of the home. Fitting an insulation jacket can protect your tank. Various products are available to purchase from DIY stores and are relatively inexpensive. They are simple to install, but be aware that accessing the tank itself can sometimes prove a little awkward, though well worth the effort in the end.


  • Keep your property warm


Throughout the winter it is ideal to keep your property warm, even if you are planning on being away, as keeping the air warm internally will help stop pipes from freezing. A top tip is to occasionally open your loft hatch and kitchen cabinet doors allowing warm air to circulate around hidden pipes.


  • Keep water moving


Make it harder for water to freeze by keeping it running, regularly turn all taps throughout the property on and off.


  • Locate your property’s stopcock


Lastly familiarise yourself with where your property’s internal stopcock is located and make sure you can turn it off if necessary. Should the pipes burst you will want to be able to turn off the water supply as quickly as possible. Stopcocks are often found under the kitchen sink. They close by turning the stopcock valve clockwise.


What should I do if a pipe freezes?


If a water pipe within your property freezes your first response must be to switch off the water at the stopcock and then check to see if the pipe has burst. If it has not burst you may be able to slowly thaw the water in the pipe by using a hairdryer on a very low heat, hot water bottles or a towel soaked in hot water. We would recommend starting at the end nearest the tap and if you are in any doubt at all call in a specialist.


What should I do if a pipe bursts?


In the event of a water pipe bursting immediately switch off the water at the stopcock. Then open all taps to reduce flooding and use towels to soak up as much of the escaping water as you can. Once under control call a specialist.


Need some expert advice?

If you require some expert advice around preparing your property for an extreme winter or repairing existing water damage contact specialists Westone Housing on 01733 320500 or visit www.westone.uk.com