The first snowflakes have fallen in Rossendale, Lancashire, transforming the hills into pristine peaks of shimmering beauty. At ground level the roads have become slippery, traffic crawling along, energy assessors (DEAs) having to cancel appointments for EPCs. It seems it really couldn’t get any worse.
So what can we do to make things better as we prepare for that winter chill and icy blast.
Firstly, make sure that the loft space in our property is properly insulated. The current Building Regulations recommend 300mm of insulation. It may not be a particularly pleasant job to do but you only have to do it once. Whilst you’re up in the loft why not check to see that your water pipes are insulated as well? You really don’t want a burst pipe over Christmas unless you don’t mind paying a plumber £200 to come out to your property over the festive period.
If you’re insured, you might find you’re not covered for any resulting damage if your pipes are not insulated. Remember, you did say your property was in a good state of repair last time you renewed your insurance policy.
Have you had your boiler serviced recently? You really don’t want to be without central heating, especially with family coming to stay. But it’s also because you need to know that the boiler is operating safely and not emitting poisonous gases. You may think you’re safe because you’ve just had one of those new super efficient condensing boilers fitted. Has it been properly fitted? Check the condensate pipe coming out through the wall; it used to be copper but for a condensing boiler it must be white plastic (PVCu). If it’s still copper there’s a strong likelihood your boiler could freeze up.
You may of course be joining the thousands of skiers who jet off each Christmas. For some they return to abject misery as they forgot to turn the water off, and a pipe has burst and the property has become a scene of mass destruction and horror. Your cold water tap is usually in the kitchen under the sink. If you don’t know where it is, now’s the time to find it.