Getting your rental property ready for winter: How to prevent frozen pipes and bursts

As the colder weather sets in there are some important things to consider when looking after the interior and exterior of your home, especially in frost and snow. Our Getting Your Property Ready for Winter series will help you identify potential vulnerabilities when Jack Frost arrives and offers handy advice on why prevention is the best cure.

Take a look at these helpful tips on how to keep your pipes from freezing and prevent water bursts this winter:

Keep the heating on

Setting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature will not only keep your home warm and dry; it’ll help you save on heating bills too. If you turn the heating off completely especially during extended periods that you may be away from the house i.e. visiting family over Christmas, you’ll risk the pipes freezing during a cold snap. If your pipes freeze and burst, this could cause a lot of water damage to the property and your belongings. Keeping the heating on and at a consistent temperature will ensure the pipes are warm which helps reduce them freezing up. 

Don’t forget about outside taps

If you have outside water taps for garden use, don’t forget these could be prone to freezing up too. As they are connected to the main water system in the property, outside taps that freeze up could also affect the interior plumbing. During a cold spell keep the tap covered or well insulated to avoid any excess water freezing inside the pipe.

Allow warm air to circulate

Although you may want to keep certain rooms warmer during cold weather, allowing warm to flow freely through your property will help keep it at a comfortable temperature. This warm air will not only heat the rooms but keep the pipes at a suitable temperature too. It is also a good idea especially for prolonged periods away from your home, to leave cupboard doors for example under the sink or bathroom cabinets open so air can circulate to pipes that are fixed to external walls.

Check your insurance

Although the main water pipes and internal plumbing system are your landlord’s responsibility, it is always best to ensure your contents insurance is up to date and covers you for a range of eventualities. If a pipe bursts it could cause considerable damage to your belongings and electrical equipment so sufficient insurance will cover the cost of repair or replacement. It is also wise to consider the advice from your landlord or agency in colder weather as not following this could lead to property damage and may mean you are liable for the cost for any repairs.

Advise your landlord or agent of issues immediately

As mentioned before, prevention is the best cure and if you have any issues with your heating system or boiler before the cold weather hits be sure to let your landlord know straight away. If the worst does happen and you have a burst pipe, be sure to tell someone straight away as this will limit the damage to the property and your belongings. Don’t try to fix the problem yourself, as this could also lead to cost implications during your tenancy and may affect your deposit when leaving the property.


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