The cold weather can cause problems for your home plumbing system. And with the potential for frozen pipes, cold radiators, floods and leaks – the darker months can be depressing. These plumbing problems do not need to be a fact of life, however. There are some maintenance steps you can take to keep you warm this winter, and free from costly repair bills.

Avoiding frozen pipes

When water freezes within your pipes, it will expand, then crack the pipe and potentially cause a pipe burst. The pipes most likely to be impacted are in higher places, such as an attic, or those nearest outside walls.

One of the easiest ways to keep your pipes from freezing is to keep your heating on. However, this is costly and unrealistic. Therefore, you can also choose to insulate your pipes using foam padding sleeves and insulation tape. You do not want to wait for a time when ice or frost is accumulating on your pipes. You should use the autumn months to prepare and prevent costly problems.

An essential preparation tip is to check for leaks now. Any drips and damp patches may be an annoyance, but if left to freeze and expand could become a costly plumbing problem. Therefore, check around your home and make sure your pipes are in a suitable condition.

Cold radiators

Getting your boiler serviced in the summer months can prevent cold days and nights when you first choose to switch it on in the winter. There is always a busy period for plumbers at the start of winter, as people call the emergency line asking for boiler maintenance.

However, before you think your cold house is a result of your boiler, check your radiators. It may be that excess air trapped in the radiator needs releasing to allow hot water to travel through. You can bleed the radiators with a key that you twist at one end of the heater. You will notice first that air will come out and then water. Once water is flowing out of the radiator, you know your radiator is clear.

Bleeding your radiators could save you a costly call out charge. It is often best to try this before ringing for a plumber.

Clean up your garden

Autumn is a time of debris, from the leaves and twigs falling from trees, to the detritus blown in on the wind. This material can quickly build up in your drains and cause blockages, which in turn lead to floods. So, raking up this material and clearing it away could save you money – and potential distress.

You may also want to do something as simple as disconnecting your water hose and storing it for the winter. The excess water left in the tube can freeze and expand, which can then lead to the faucet freezing and expanding too.

With all the preparation in the world, you might not be able to avoid all plumbing emergencies this winter. Get on top of problems quickly, to prevent them from escalating in the colder conditions.

Contact Paine Manwaring for professional help and advice this winter. Our emergency team are also on standby for any potential problems you may face.