If not a White Christmas, make sure it’s a warm one!

Pretty snowscapes look great on Christmas cards or make nice ‘window weather’ as they call them up north when you’re looking out at them from the depths of a snug armchair and toasting your toes by an open fire.

But a winter wonderland isn’t quite so wonderful when it results in frozen or burst pipes, leaving you without water for a warm drink or a hot shower!  So, to enjoy the best and escape the worst of the season, here’s a few practical tips:

  • Begin your Christmas wrapping by lagging your pipes, taking particular care to ensure there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings.  Lagging material is available from most DIY stores.
  • Icicles are all very well in Santa’s Grotto, but unless you want them in your kitchen or bathroom, fix any dripping taps – even a small trickle can cause a freezing pipe.
  • Never mind hanging up stockings, put a sock in it!  Use draught excluders to keep out the cold from outside doors and windows.  Also open up your loft hatch to allow warm air to circulate above if you have tanks or pipework in the roof space.
  • Shooting off for sunnier climes over Christmas or the New Year?  Leave the heating on low when you are away and get a friend or neighbour to check the property regularly.
  • No doubt you’ve laid in a good stock of wines and spirits to see you through the season, but make sure you also have a separate supply of drinking water for emergencies – and we don’t just mean mixers! – or it could end up as a seriously dry season!
  • Of course, too much water is as bad as none at all, so to prevent an emergency of the latter kind make sure you know where your property’s internal stopcock is (usually under the kitchen sink) and that it’s not to stiff to turn off should the need arise.
  • Keep candles for festive cheer.  Never use them (or a naked flame of any kind) to unfreeze a frozen pipe.  Use a hair drier or a towel soaked in hot water at the end nearest the tap.
  • If an emergency does arise, call us at Harpers.  We do our best to respond immediately to emergencies, on the same day whenever possible.  For additional tips on crisis management, see our blog post Stemming the Flood – What to do Before the Plumber Arrives.
  • Or better still, call us in beforehand to check over your boiler and central heating system and carry out any necessary preventative maintenance.

Then enjoy your snowballing, snowman building, tobogganing and other fun winter pursuits with the assurance that there’s always a warm home and hot baths to return to!