Avoiding frozen pipes during winter

Avoiding frozen pipes this winter

Avoid frozen pipes & what to do if they freeze or burst.

We all want our water to stay on tap. But a burst pipe can mean more than just having no water – there’s the cost and inconvenience of repairs, plus you could find furnishings and belongings are ruined. By following the advice below, you could avoid possible problems this winter.

Avoiding frozen pipes

  • Lag exposed pipework (lagging material is available from all good DIY stores). Ensure there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings.
  • Ensure water tanks are properly insulated. Do not insulate beneath water tanks in the loft as this will prevent warm air getting to them and could cause freezing.
  • Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe.
  • Find your property’s internal stop tap and make sure you can turn it off if necessary. Inside stop taps are usually located under the kitchen sink, or perhaps in a downstairs toilet or cupboard. Check you know where yours is located and the tap is operating correctly. If you cannot turn the tap you may have to call a plumber for assistance.
  • Have your boiler serviced.
  • Minimise draughts and close doors and windows in unheated parts of the property.
  • Leave the heating on low when you are away and get a friend or neighbour to check the property regularly.
  • If a property is going to be unoccupied for long periods, turn off the water at the stop tap and consider draining down the system so there is no water left in the pipes.
  • Keep bottles of drinking water for emergencies.

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Rapid Team Dispatch

We aim to despatch technicians to your property ASAP. We operate across the UK with technicians in your area providing a 24/7 emergency service.

Cost of a claim

We liaise directly with your insurance company on your behalf and work closely with them to drive down overall claims costs and life cycles.

Waiting for us to arrive? Follow the steps below:

Personal Safety

Firstly make sure that everyone is safe. Evacuate any people from the property not vital to the recovery process. Flood water usually causes structural damage so the less people in the property, the better. Be aware of sewage/pollution, obstacles and sharp objects within the flood water and wear personal protective clothing. If you are in contact with water DO NOT touch sources of electricity. We highly recommend that you DO NOT enter the property unless instructed it is safe to do so by supporting authorities. Flood water can be extremely dangerous to your health and can prove a dangerous environment to be in.

Limit Secondary Damage

If you know where your isolators are, turn off mains supplies of gas, electricity and water. If your flood has been caused by a leak or burst pipe, try and identify/seal any leaks where possible. If the source of water is exterior such as rain or river water, you may already be prepared with a sump pump or water pump to remove this. Move items of value to a safe place to limit further damage if you can do so safely (electronic equipment, personal items, important documentation, expensive furniture) We recommend moving items to higher ground in your property.

Take Action

Contact your insurance company and inform them of the situation. Be clear and concise with them. Offer them a list of items that have sustained damage and salvage what you can. Once you have contacted your insurance company, call Tempest Restoration on 0845 052 4522 and arrange for us to visit the property to provide expert advice and service to return your home to its pre-incident state as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Please note that Tempest Restorations services are not a replacement for the Emergency Services and should only be contacted after them and your insurance company.

What to do if a pipe freezes

  • If you have no water, first check with neighbours – if they have water then you may have a frozen pipe.
  • Check pipes for signs of splitting – any damage will mean the burst pipe will leak when the pipe thaws out.
  • Turn off the internal stop tap and drain the system by running cold taps and ushing toilets. Do not run hot taps as this may cause further problems if the hot water system is frozen.
  • Switch off the central heating and water heating appliances such as boilers and immersion heaters.
  • If the pipes all appear to be undamaged, turn off taps.
  • Starting at the end nearest the tap, SLOWLY thaw the pipe using hot water bottles or towels soaked in hot water. DO NOT USE a direct ame, hairdryer or blowtorch.
    There is a risk of explosion if sudden heat is applied following a freeze. Only switch appliances back on when you’re sure the system is thawed.
  • Once the system has thawed slowly turn the stop tap on. Check pipes again, and if you’re happy they are not damaged or leaking, switch on the boiler or immersion heater.

If you’re in any doubt about what to do, call a plumber.

What to do if a pipe bursts

  • Turn off the stop tap and boiler.
  • Use thick towels to soak up escaping water or put a bucket beneath the burst.
  • Switch off any electrical items at the mains. Remove plugs from sockets where water may have got into them.
  • Turn on taps and flush toilets to drain the system.
  • Once drained turn the taps off.
  • Call a qualified plumber. It’s a good idea to keep a number for one handy.

Remember, you are responsible for all pipework within your property boundary.

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FAQs

A. Here at Tempest Restoration we have been providing flood restoration services to properties across the UK. In that time we have dealt with water damage of all scales. Over the years have not only been involved in 1000's of small domestic disaster restoration claims but also major incidents from the Cumbrian floods to the Buncefield fire at the oil storage terminal in Hertfordshire. Our continuous investment in the very latest flood drying equipment and technician training enables us to handle professionally any size and scale of flood damage. Our aim is to provide a prompt, professional and reliable disaster restoration service to domestic and commercial property owners.

A. We are fully equipped to clean up flood damage after all types of flood. Over the years we have helped thousands of homeowners and businesses alike recover from Coastal flooding, River flooding, Flash flooding, Groundwater flooding and Sewer flooding. Read our guide on common types of flood water. We are able to deal with all types of water including clean water, grey water (a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to) and black water (water which contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness). Read our guide on common categories of water. Floods can be caused for many different reasons. Heavy rainfall, storm water, river flooding, coastal surges, leaking/burst pipes or human error are all typical causes of flood water in the home or business premises. The source of the ingress isn't always visible neither. Water can trace itself to a point from a large distance away from the entry source. Here at Tempest we have specialist detection equipment for trace and access on water ingression to a property.

A. Flood water can devastate a property. The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface. At this point, the potential damage done to a structure that you may not have been aware of can be large in scale. Or, it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property. Whatever the cause, primary flood damage is just the beginning and you need to act fast to minimise the consequences of secondary damage. Your home is full of porous materials that absorb water like a sponge which will damage structural integrity. Water causes corrosion and damages electrical equipment which can be fatal if not identified. Residual moisture becomes water vapour throughout the building which will condense. If the water is not completely removed it can lead to dry rot and a high risk of microbial growth e.g. mould and bacteria which is damaging to your health and isnt always something visible to the naked eye like typical black mould in a bathroom.

A. After a safety assessment, we look to identify the cause of the water leak or ingress using various tools and equipment. Our experienced team of technicians will look to make a decision on the best course of action for your situation. The next stage utilises advanced water removal equipment followed by rapid drying technology and humidity control to remove the water and moisture from the property.

A. Their are many potential health risks associated with flood water. Apart from the initial potential risk of drowning, the further potential risks to your health very much depend upon the nature of the water. We are able to deal with all types of water including clean water, grey water (a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to) and black water (water which contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness). If there is any possibility of contamination DO NOT TOUCH IT, call Tempest Restoration on 0845 052 4522. Read our guide on common categories of water.

A. Every case is different and their are many factors that make up the scale of damage and repair required due to flood damage of a property. We recommend a site survey to ascertain the level of damage and repair required. Once on site, we are able to quickly advise on the best course of action to bring about the most effective recovery. Our state-of-the-art equipment ensures the remediation process will be thorough, effective and as fast as possible, returning your home or business to normality as quickly as possible. Using the latest technology and with highly experienced technicians, our aim is to complete the restoration in the best way to reduce costs and prevent secondary damage in the future.

A. Every flood is unique and as such the timescale is dependent on many variations and factors. A small scale water leak is usually quiker to repair than large scale flooding caused by a river overflowing. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will assess the damage and act fast and efficiently to provide a tailored and precise response to your properties specific requirements. The use of modern equipment, rapid drying technology and working practise means that your home or business will be safely and quickly returned to normal, minimising disruption and cost.

A. We operate across the UK with technicians available in major towns and cities. Our head office is based in Swaffham, Norfolk where we undertake all our training.

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