Prepare for the cold weather .. and protect your property.

30 November 2012

Prepare for the cold weather .. and protect your property.

The extremely cold winter of the last two years have led to many sustaining losses from burst pipes, weight of snow on roofs and ingress of water.

There are a number of simples but effective steps that you clients can take to both prevent and reduce the impact of cold weather.

These simple steps apply to both private dwellings and business premises too!

Check you have the following things in place so you know you can react quickly if there is a problem
  • Make sure you know the location of all stopcock and check now that they are easily accessible and in good working order
  • Keep a record of the layout of all the utilities that service your business, particularly water and gas/oil and check now that the pipes are in good condition
  • Assemble a list of reputable local plumbers and boiler engineers
  • Ensure your heating system is serviced and maintained and that you have access to sufficient fuel should there be winter shortages
  • Review the fabric of your building and consider where roofing may be vulnerable to heavy accumulations of snow.

Avoiding burst pipes
  • Ensure any exposed pipes are protected from impact
  • Use good quality lagging to protect pipes and tanks– external pipes, taps and hoses are particularly vulnerable to the cold so ensure they area dequately insulated
  • Repair any dripping taps and leaking overflow pipes
  • Ensure that the temperature in any building does not fall below 4 degrees. This is particularly important at weekends and over the Christmas/New Year period when your business premises may be unoccupied. Leave the heating on low and consider draining down water systems
  • In periods of cold weather, inspect your permission a daily basis for signs of freezing. In periods of heavy snow, look for accumulations of snow on roofs and safely clear anything more than 4-6 inches. Overhanging icicles may indicate that guttering is not draining thawing snow adequately.

Minimising damage

  • If you are unfortunate enough to sustain a burst pipe then you can minimise damage and interruption to your home or business
  • Immediately turn off the water at the stop cock and drain the system
  • Turn off any central heating to prevent damage
  • Move any vulnerable stock, contents, valuables or business equipment
  • Never use naked flames to thaw frozen pipes or equipment.