Jack Frost isn’t just nipping at your toes, he’s nipping at your window panes too. As England descends into what is speculated to be the worst winter in modern times there are several steps you should take to protect your home – particularly if it’s undergoing a renovation.
When a house is being renovated its defences are down, leaving it more susceptible to damage from the elements. Here’s how you can prepare your home for a big freeze.
Step 1: Draining your water pipes
As temperatures plummet freezing pipes may become a problem. Frozen pipes have a high chance of bursting as the water inside the pipe expands and solidifies. A burst pipe will cause the property to flood from the inside and the damage can be devastating.
If you’re not living in the property the best way to prevent frozen pipes is to drain the plumbing system. To do this you need to:
- Shut off the main water valve
- Open the sink taps, starting on the top floor
- Open the bath/shower taps, again starting on the top floor
- Flush all of the toilets
You should leave all taps open and no water should be coming out (with the exception of a residual drip).
For tips on turning your water supply on and off visit the Thames Water website.
Step 2: Heating your property
During the winter you will need to keep your property heated constantly, whether or not you are residing in it.
In the winter many properties suffer from condensation and mould because of the low temperatures. As moisture in the air comes into contact with cold surfaces such as walls and windows it condenses into water droplets. This condensation can then cause mould to appear, usually on external walls and in the corners of poorly ventilated areas.
The best way to keep your house mould free over the winter is to set the thermostat to heat the house at a low temperature continuously. Alternatively you may decide to heat the house with short bursts of heat, a cheaper but less reliable way of mould prevention.
Covering bare floorboards and shutting all the doors will help preserve heat within the house and protect the house more effectively.
If your property has poor ventilation or is located in a humid climate you may also decide to buy or hire a dehumidifier to extract moisture from the air.
Step 3: Check your property regularly
The best way to ensure that your property doesn’t succumb to the cold weather is to visit it regularly.
Visiting the property will help ventilate the rooms as you open doors and windows and give you the chance to check for any damages and mould.
Step 4: Insure your renovation project
Winter can bring harsh storms, severe flooding, and hail damage. Having a secure, reliable insurance policy is essential when disaster hits and can give you peace of mind if bad weather is forecast.
Renovation Insurance Brokers is the market leader in renovation insurance, helping hundreds of clients, brokers, project managers and architects place the right insurance for large renovations.
We know that properties are very individual, creating bespoke policies and arranging the right cover to best protect each property throughout the renovation process.
If you suspect your pipes are already frozen read the advice from Thames Water
To learn more about insuring your renovation this winter please get in contact
[Picture source: The Telegraph]