PROPERTY REPAIR ~ 10 Top Tips for Avoiding water leaks at home this winter
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Avoiding water leaks at home this winter
10 Top Tips from Property Repair
The damage caused by water escaping in your home can be heartbreaking. Floors, carpets, ceilings, wall coverings, clothes and children's toys are all under threat when a leak starts. And, unfortunately, 'escape of water' claims are all too common, particularly during the freezing winter months. A tiny drip, that may seem harmless at first, could quickly begin to cause a major problem.
The good news is that most water leaks in the home are avoidable.
Here are Building Repair's top ten tips for avoiding water leaks:
If you're leaving your home unattended over the winter months, turn the main stopcock off. However, keep the heating system running as if it were occupied. The thermostat should be turned down to around 15C. This will help to ensure that, in the event of freezing conditions, the heating will come on at a low temperature and stop trapped water from freezing and possibly splitting pipes due to the water expanding when it freezes.
Get someone to check on your property while you are away. Ensure they know where the stopcock is just in case they need to turn off the mains supply in a hurry. Don't forget to ensure the stopcock is in working order.
If you are going away for an extended period you may wish to drain down your plumbing and heating system. However, if you are considering this please do take professional advice.
Make sure pipes in the attic are insulated. This will help to prevent pipes and joints from freezing.
If you're a DIY enthusiast and are considering a plumbing job but you've not had any training, you may want to call the experts. However, if you're determined to do your own plumbing, be aware of where pipes run. Use a metal detection tool to locate pipes before nailing and screwing into walls. Pipes don't always run where you would expect. Remember, a screw thorough a pipe may not leak instantly and may only become evident once the screw starts to rust.
If you are using plastic plumbing fittings, ensure they are from the same manufacturer. Pay particular attention to the joints - ensure they fit snugly as any movement could cause significant leaks.
Fix leaks and drips as soon as you find them. Routine maintenance will help prevent what appears to be a minor problem today becoming a major escape of water tomorrow.
If you are installing any type of wet room take advice from the professionals. Ensure all seals are sound and watertight - remember, movement in joints and seals is a major cause of escape of water.
Inspect plumbing joints from time to time. Don't forget those out of sight on dishwashers and washing machines.
Make sure your header and water tanks are insulated. Check ball valves for signs of wear and tear and replace where necessary.
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