Take Autumn Action to Protect Property and Pipes

Householders across Scotland are being urged to take action this autumn to ensure their property and water pipes are protected ahead of winter.

Scottish Water has issued a reminder to property owners that preparing now for winter will help prevent problems such as burst pipes and flooding in the event of freezing temperatures.

With extremes of weather experienced in Scotland in recent years householders and businesses should adopt a “prepare now” approach.

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The utility advises anyone with a home, holiday home or business premises to take action to heat, insulate and protect their properties, whether the property is old or new, ahead of any cold weather.
Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “With autumn now here, it’s the ideal time to prepare for the possibility of severe weather and the potential impact that has on property. Taking action now can prevent the misery of damage to property and pipes in the months to come.
“By taking steps to heat, insulate and protect properties, customers can avoid the considerable headache and heartache caused by frozen or burst pipes. We want to work with our customers to ensure we are all prepared for whatever winter weather we get.”
Scottish Water is also urging holiday home owners, whose properties will be occupied by visitors and tourists, to be prepared.
Riddell Graham, Director of Industry and Destination Development at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is an incredible place to visit during the winter months and so it’s important that we ensure visitors have the best experience possible. At this time of year, we would ask all holiday home-owners to be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and check the pipes at their properties, to help prevent any unwelcome surprises for visitors.”
The key advice is:
Heat: Warmth offers the best protection against frozen pipes, so when temperatures are low leave your heating on a low setting, or set it to come on a couple of times a day.
Insulate: Pipes don’t like the cold – whether they are outdoor or indoor, metal or plastic, new or old. Making sure pipes and water tanks are properly insulated is one of the simplest, and cheapest, things which can be done to help protect properties from the cold. Make sure that there are no gaps at bends, valves or fitting, and that you use a suitable insulation material.
Protect: If you are going away, make sure you have someone who can check regularly for any problems. Dripping water increases the risk of freezing, so have any drips or leaks at taps or valves repaired as soon as you discover them, and reduce draughts by fitting draught excluders to doors and windows. If the property is going to be vacant over winter, turn off the water supply and drain the system.
Even when your home or property is winter ready sometimes damages can happen, so make sure you have adequate buildings and content insurance.
If your home or property is going to be vacant over the winter months, turn off your water supply and drain the system. A licensed plumber will be able to give advice about this.
Other important winter advice includes tips on finding and using your stop valve, keeping a small emergency pack handy, and be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for your neighbours including the elderly and those who might need additional support.
Scottish Water’s advice was backed by the Met Office, whose Head of Civil Contingencies Will Lang, said: “As we approach the colder autumn and winter months, now is the time to think about preparing our homes, properties and businesses for the potential impacts of cold weather.  A few simple checks of water pipes and water tanks now, while temperatures are still quite mild, will help protect pipes from bursting or freezing – helping you avoid costly repairs and inconveniences.”
Scottish Water is also offering a free quick reminder stop valve sticker, where you can write the name and contact number of your local licensed plumber so that it is handy in case of an emergency.
For the free stop valve sticker:
Email [email protected], or write to Customer Marketing, Free Stop Valve Sticker, PO Box 8855, Edinburgh EH10 6YQ
Follow us on Twitter @scottish_water and Facebook facebook.com/scottishwater and use hashtag #SWwinter

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