As we head into winter, temperatures drop and the weather worsens, we are prepared to expect an increased number of calls to our 24-hour/7-day emergency call out service. Whether it is caused by flood damage, stormy weather or ice, water damage of all kinds inevitably experiences a seasonal spike at this time of year. Luckily, our restoration processes and technologies, as well as our speedy response times, can massively mitigate damage. While risk can never be completely removed, there are a number of ways you can reduce the chances of damage occurring at this time of year.
Prior preparation for winter
If you have responsibility for any buildings, keeping on top of your seasonal programme of maintenance and repairs as we head into winter is of absolute paramount importance. Regular inspections are important all year round but at this time of year, more than ever, you need to make sure that little signs of potential problems, such as a patch of damp, are not the early warning signs of something much more serious, such as an undetected leak. You should regularly check radiators, toilet overflows and your central heating tank. Make sure you know where the stopcock is located, that it’s easy to reach and that you can close it off.
Don’t neglect empty properties
It is all too easy to assume that an empty property won’t come to any harm. However, a vacant building can actually deteriorate surprisingly quickly, as without regular visits, even a relatively small problem such as a gradual but persistent leaky pipe can escalate very quickly. Call in whenever it is practical to do so, and you could consider having a flood detection device fitted that will alert you of a leak as soon as it occurs.
Avoid the misery of burst pipes
Very cold weather is always accompanied by stories of burst pipes and the misery they cause. If a property is going to remain empty, ideally, leave the heating on but set the thermostat at 12-15 degrees. This will keep the air warm and help stop internal pipes from freezing. If you are unable to leave the heating on, then drain the hot and cold water system down completely. Don’t forget to check any roofs too to make sure they are fully weathertight – one loose slate can lead to a major leak in severe storm conditions.
Keeping the heat in
Water pipes and central heating systems need regular servicing and inspection as we head into winter. Old boilers, in particular, need care and attention to make sure they are still functioning properly. Insulating water pipes and the water tank will help avoid the risk of frost damage too. If you are still relying on oil as the main source of heating, make sure you have plenty of reserves to see you through potentially very cold prolonged stretches.
Boring but important
It’s well worth keeping on top of the unpleasant task of clearing gutters. Often neglected, as they usually require some effort to check, debris gathers in wet and windy autumn weather. If gutters get blocked, facia boards and roofs may start rotting then leaking. Old or damaged brickwork can also let water in so check the pointing and the concrete at the same time as checking your gutters.
The Forshaw Group offers a full scope of restoration services to undertake all types of water damage emergencies. We understand the need for effective treatment and restoration, by offering a common-sense approach to providing practical, economical solutions. If your property or premises have been affected by water damage, be it a short-term emergency or long-term damp issues, then contact our experts today.