Frozen pipes: How to ‘prevent pipes from freezing’ – even if you’re away from home

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With cold weather, and potentially snow on the way, your home could be at risk of being damaged. If temperatures drop significantly, some homes could see their pipes freeze, especially if they’re not insulated properly. Frozen pipes can stop heating and hot water from working properly and can also burst, causing leaks and flooding.

To prevent pipes from freezing over, homeowners can follow several steps from The AA.

The AA has shared a guide on how to protect property against freezing weather this winter, including how to prevent frozen pipes.

One of the most important things a homeowner can do is insulate pipes and the loft water storage tank.

The experts at The AA suggested putting the insulation foam on top of pipes rather than underneath them.

They also recommended turning off indoor valves on pipes leading to outside pipes.

“Then open the outside tap and leave it open to let any water drain out,” The AA said.

Over the winter months, homeowners should also regularly check all the taps.

If little or no water flows out of taps, there may be frozen water in the pipes.

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For those away from home this Christmas, The AA recommends setting a timer for central heating.

They said: “If you are away from home in the winter, set the central heating to come on for a short period each day to prevent pipes from freezing.”

Homeowners should also know where their mains water stopcock is and ensure it turns off easily.

In the case of a burst pipe, it is essential to know where this is located to turn the water off.

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In the event that pipes do freeze this winter, the water needs to be turned off and the pipes thawed out.

The AA suggested using hot water bottles but “never” to use a heat gun or blow torch.

If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off and thaw them out slowly with hot water bottles.

Homeowners who are away for an extended period of time should ask someone to check their home while they’re away.

The AA added: “This should help make sure leaking or burst pipes are spotted early and damage is kept to a minimum (tell them where the stopcock is).

“Freezing winter weather can bring problems for condensing boilers.

“They can sometimes shut down if the condensate pipe freezes – and leave your home without heating just when you need it most.”

Out of hours emergency call outs for burst or leaking pipes can cost hundreds of pounds.

Ensuring pipes and water tanks are insulated should stop homeowners needing to make costly repairs over the Christmas period.

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