Winter can be a trying period for any household, but the season can be even more difficult to manage if a homeowner fails to suitably prepare for the conditions often associated with this time of year.

One common mistake most homeowners make (in anticipation of winter) is failing to health check their plumbing. Failure to perform a simple health check actually increases the likelihood of plumbing breaking down during winter, due to its inability to cope with the sudden drop in temperature.

Here is a list of things you can check yourself at home which should help to keep things running over winter –

  1. Checking for leaks or cracks in all water pipes. It’s important to check for leaks and potential blockages, because these can freeze in winter and lead to burst pipes due to expanding ice. The ensuing flood can be a very costly problem, especially if you’re not home when it happens.
  2. Have your boiler serviced. It’s recommended that all gas appliances are serviced at least once a year. Your radiators should be also be bled to improve the flow of hot water and release trapped air. Ensure your boiler is serviced by a gas safe certified expert and ensure you get optimal heating throughout winter.
  3. Checking windows and doors. Heating during winter is most effective if your home is properly insulated. Take a look at your seals to ensure cold and moisture is being kept out and heat being kept in.
  4. Clean your gutters. Neglecting to clean the gutters in summer might not be so bad, but to do so in Winter can spell problems. Winter rains can lead to debris blocking your gutters and this non-moving water can begin to seep into your building. Make sure all is well with your gutters and that you don’t have to worry about your roof flooding during winter rains.
  5. Check water pipes in unheated areas are insulated. You can add extra insulation to the pipes located in unheated parts of your property e.g. water lines running through crawl spaces, the garage, attic and so on. You can wrap up such pipes with heat tape, foam sleeves or even newspaper to prevent them from freezing.

You can avoid having to deal with an ill-timed plumbing malfunction in the middle of winter, which can lead to discomfort for you and everyone in your home, by doing this simple plumbing health check on your home.