Although a hard freeze may not last for very long, its effect on your plumbing and home could have longer term, and expensive, consequences.
Frozen pipes are susceptible to splitting, resulting in a potentially major flood once they thaw out.
Prevention measures can be simple and inexpensive.
Make sure your pipes are insulated, particularly the most vulnerable ones, those in outside walls, dishwasher or washing machine plumbing, cellars, lofts and any that may run through an integral garage. If pipes are housed in under-sink cupboards for example, leave the doors open to allow warmer air in to circulate around the pipes.
Allow taps to drip slightly in extremely cold weather. This keeps water moving through the system, prevents pressure from building up and can act as an early warning system if the drip stops.
Maintain some level of heating in all rooms - even those rarely used used in winter - either by ensuring that radiators are not completely switched off, set to a lower level on the thermostat, or by using tubular heating designed for the purpose. If the house is being left empty for any length of time, leave the heating on at a low temperature during your absence. This may appear to be an expensive option but is considerably cheaper than returning home to a flood. Depending on how long you may be going away for, it might be worth draining the system completely before you leave.
If your pipes do freeze, check wherever possible to see if you can detect any splits or bulges in the pipework. If you do, then make sure you shut the water off and open the taps before calling a plumber to replace or repair the pipes before they thaw and flood. If the pipes are sound, then you can thaw accessible pipes with a warm air heater or hairdryer, starting at the pipework closest to the taps and working your way to the coldest area. Under no circumstances should you attempt to thaw pipes with a naked flame or blowtorch!
Recommended Croydon experts
If you're in need of prevention or cure, Croydon's plumbers are on hand to help with expert service and advice. And remember to add your testimonial via the 14 Days of Love link if they have come to your aid in the past!
The team at Magik Plumbing pride themselves in their speed of response... much needed in the case of an emergency!
Croydon Handyman Services are there to cover the smaller jobs around the house that the larger companies are sometimes just not able to fit in.
Or give First 2 Fix a call to deal with all your electrical, plumbing and drainage requirements.
Find details of these local, recommended companies in our Business Directory and remember to mention thebestof Croydon when you call.