Preparing for a cold winter

Winter

It's that time of year again; the temperature is dropping and your property is going to be tested to the limit: Last winter, the temperature in Glasgow frequently dipped below 0°c. This post has been written to provide some tips for tenants that will help with winter-proofing their properties, helping to reduce the chances of any unwanted damage and hassle this winter.

Preparing for winter
In preparation for winter, make sure you have located and can operate your main stopcock (commonly under the sink or in hall cupboards). In a common block of flats, there is potential for major damage: this can be reduced if the water is turned off quickly. Report any leaks, no matter how minor they may seem, as this could help to mitigate the risk of a burst pipe in the future.

Best Practice for Gas Central Heating Systems
Best practice is to leave your system on 24 hours a day at a low temperature. This is the fail-safe way to avoid freezing heating pipes - your property will also hold a steady temperature and will be much quicker and cheaper to get up to your desired temperature when occupied.

If you use your system on a timed program ensure that you add a couple more 'active' times during the day and night (this can be as little as 15/30 minutes per time), just to make sure that the temperature of the heating water stays at a decent temperature.

Leaving your property for holidays
If you're planning on going away and leaving your rental property for any period of time, ensure that:

1) The heating is never turned off. It should ideally be left on a low setting 24/7 to allow the system to retain a steady heat as per the detail above; 

2) Turn off your water stop cock and then open the hot and cold taps to drain the pipes of excess water

3) Doors should be left open to allow warm air to circulate around the property. 

Steps to take if a pipe bursts

  • Contact your property manager who will arrange an emergency contractor to visit
  • Use towels to try and restrict leaks while you turn off the water at the stopcock
  • Turn on taps to relieve the system of pressure
  • Switch the boiler off