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Top tips to help landlords avoid plumbing problems this winter

Burst pipes and blocked drains are a pain at the best of times, but with winter rapidly approaching, it is even more important to avoid plumbing issues in your properties.

While plumbing disasters can happen at any time of year, the winter months bring a new set of challenges and that is why buy-to-let landlords must be proactive and ensure they are prepared when it comes to plumbing issues before the icy weather sets in.

Derrick Ryall, executive head of public weather services at the Met Office, said: “With winter around the corner, now is the time to think about preparing for the potential impacts of severe weather, to help keep you, your home and your families safe. 

“As we learned from the ‘Beast from the East’ earlier this year, the weather can quickly deteriorate during winter, so taking a few moments now to check your home is prepared, can help to avoid costly repair.”

To help you cope with common plumbing problems, and the best ways on how to fix and prevent them, WaterSafe, the UK body for approved plumbers, has compiled a five-point checklist to help landlords avoid plumbing problems this winter.

+ Locate your stop tap – if a pipe freezes and bursts in your home you need to be able to shut off the water supply quickly.

+ Insulate outside taps and pipes in unheated areas like lofts, garages and outbuildings to help prevent them from freezing and bursting.

+ Repair any leaky taps or valves – this will stop the frost getting in and you’ll save water too.

+ Check if your central heating boiler needs a service.

+ If your house will be empty, leave your heating on low – about 14 degrees centigrade. Or, if you’re going to be away for a while, turn off your water supply and drain the system.

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe, commented: “We want everyone to get a head start before colder weather sets in, which is why our film encourages homeowners to check how well prepared they are with the aid of our top plumbing tips.

“If you need help insulating pipes or fixing leaks, always use an approved, qualified plumber. It’s a good idea to keep a WaterSafe plumber’s details to hand in case of an emergency.”

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