As England’s lockdown continues, national plumbing register WaterSafe is partnering with the Met Office to encourage homeowners to use their time at home to get their plumbing ready for winter.
With DIY and hardware stores deemed ‘essential’ according to government guidance, now’s a great time to stock up on insulating pipe lagging and outside tap covers.
Keeping exposed pipes and taps wrapped up will help prevent leaks and costly damage if they should freeze and burst when temperatures plunge.
During the ‘Beast from the East’ cold spell back in 2018, data from the Association of British Insurers showed the average cost of weather-related insurance claims for burst pipes was over £10,000, so it’s well worth taking the time to wrap up.
However, new WaterSafe research shows only 20% of homeowners in the UK* currently find time to prepare their homes for cold weather.
So, while many of us are stuck at home, tackling this trio of top tips will make a great start to winter preparations:
1) Insulate outside taps and pipes in unheated areas, such as lofts, roofs, garages and outbuildings.
2) Repair leaky taps and valves to prevent frost damage and to save water.
3) Find your stop tap and make sure it is working. This is essential if you need to turn off your water in an emergency – such as a burst pipe.
WaterSafe’s advice supports the Met Office’s ‘WeatherReady’ campaign, which encourages everyone to think about what they can do to prepare for and cope with severe weather.
Will Lang, Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office, said: “Anything you can do now to prepare for and limit the impacts of severe winter weather on your family and home is well worth the effort. Taking advantage of advice and guidance from experts like WaterSafe can make a real difference.”
Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, said: “Wrapping up pipes in draughty areas such as your loft doesn’t just help prevent them from freezing and bursting, but keeps the heat in, so you’ll benefit from savings on winter bills too.
Tackling such an important job before cold weather sets in can reassure us our homes will stay as cosy, warm and safe as possible.
“Lagging is inexpensive and easy to fit but if you need help contact an approved plumber – and it’s a good idea to keep their number to hand in case you need it in an emergency.”
For more winter advice and ‘how-to’ films on getting your home’s plumbing ready for winter visit watersafe.org.uk/winter.
If you need help insulating pipes, fixing leaks or using your stoptap you can find an approved plumber at watersafe.org.uk.
For more information on the Met Office’s ‘WeatherReady’ campaign visit metoffice.gov.uk/weatherready.
*WaterSafe interviewed 2,000 UK homeowners in October 2020