It’s February, and as far as the cold weather is concerned, we’re certainly not out of the woods yet!
Freezing temperatures and ever-persistent wind, ice and snow can wreak havoc with all your home’s systems – not least your drainage network. To help you steer clear of any plumbing or drainage emergencies at this notoriously gloomy time of year, our team has put together 5 top tips to help you keep your drainage system in tip-top condition during these cold snaps.
1. Inspect your system thoroughly
Check all parts of your drainage network to make sure the whole system is free from debris and ready to cope with whatever the elements might throw at it.
Blocked gutters and downpipes prevent excess water from flowing away from the roof correctly, causing flooding in or around the property. Over time, and if left unaddressed, this build-up of moisture may begin to cause some serious structural issues – so get rid of mud, leaves, and other waste now to save lots of hassle later on.
Also, inspect all your pipes for blockages, leakages and broken parts that might need repairing. The same goes for your gully pots, slot drains and channel drains – go over them with a fine toothcomb! If you’d rather not do this yourself, or you would prefer to get the professionals in to have a look at your drains, feel free to contact our expert drainage engineers for assistance. We’re always on hand to unblock drains, gullies, stack pipes, vent pipes and gutters!
2. Look after your surface water drains
Surface water drains are placed under a lot of strain during times of heavy rainfall. They are working to the max at this time of year, as the soakaways that service them are contending with rising water tables and struggling to redistribute any excess moisture.
You can’t stop the heavens from opening – but you can make sure your connecting drains are strong, sturdy, and free from blockages that could otherwise lead to unsightly (and inconvenient!) surface flooding.
If you suspect that your soakaways are not performing at their best, it could be time to replace them. Contact Ask Us Drains to arrange a free site visit and see if your property could benefit from a new soakaway installation.
3. Keep your heating down low
When you’re feeling chilly, it can be tempting to crank up the rads and give your home a quick blast of heat. The problem is, if your pipes are having to endure freezing cold weather, there’s a chance the water in them will start to freeze and expand, which in turn will place a lot of pressure on the pipe’s structure. Any fast change in temperature could prove too much and lead to bursts and breakages.
The solution? Keep your central heating at a consistent temperature to minimise the risk of frozen pipes. You should also release any pent-up pressure by turning on all the taps in your home for a couple of minutes and giving the system a good run-through.
If you suspect that your pipes have already frozen, soak a tea towel in warm water and carefully wrap it around your structures to gently thaw them out.
Better still, you can insulate your pipes to prevent unnecessary heat loss and stop them from contracting, expanding, and exploding in line with changing temperatures.
4. Check your stopcock
You’d be surprised how many of our customers don’t even know where their stopcock is! In fairness, you often only need to reach for your stop valve in an emergency – for example, when there’s a flood, and you need to cut off your water supply straightaway.
Like every other part of your water system, your stopcock can corrode over time, leading to pesky leaks. Open and close it a few times every couple of weeks to make sure it’s still working properly.
5. Carry out any necessary repairs as soon as you can
It doesn’t matter if it’s a dripping tap or a totally blocked downpipe. If you spot an issue with any part of your plumbing or drainage system, you need to get it fixed ASAP. The problem is only going to get worse if it’s left to fester – possibly with catastrophic results!
For expert guidance and quick, quality results, give Ask Us Drains a call. We offer a full range of drainage solutions to homeowners and businesses in the Essex area, including emergency plumbing services to help our customers tackle any unexpected winter drainage disasters.