How to Prevent Burst Pipes in winter

The winter season leads to freezing temperatures that can sometimes last for months. It is also the season when your home becomes vulnerable to freezing and moisture / damp issues. Water in the pipes can freeze and this exerts pressure on the walls of your pipes often resulting in them bursting – with disastrous consequences. Burst pipes do not only affect possessions, but flooding can cause significant damage to your home too. Leaving your heating on a very low setting is one way of reducing the risk of burst pipes but many modern systems have this feature designed into the programming schedule for ease of use. If you experience a burst pipe, get in touch with our plumbers immediately.

When does it happen?
Burst pipes are most likely to occur during the winter months. Burst pipes can happen in the following cases:

  • Too much water pressure in the pipes will cause them to expand and may lead to burst pipes.
  • When your pipes freeze, the water that flows in them becomes frozen. When the water flowing through the pipes makes contact with the frozen water it causes them to expand and results in pipes bursting.

Which Pipes are susceptible to freezing?
Most homes in the UK are built with the water pipes located inside the buildings insulation – in order to protect them. However, extremely cold weather can permeate holes in the brickwork and allow cold air to come in contact with the pipes.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces or outside walls are more vulnerable to freezing. The pipe composition and their size have some bearing on how fast the ice forms but the absence of insulation will definitely accelerate the process.

Mitigating the problem

  • Don’t turn off your heat in your home when going out.
  • Letting a tap drip during extreme cold weather can be a solution but can be expensive too.
  • Insulate pipes that are exposed to cold weather.
  • Keep the cold air out by sealing leaks in the vents.

So if you open a tap and no water comes out, don’t take any chances. Call our qualified plumbers for help after turning off the water at the main shut-off valve.