Safeguarding your home against the cold winter weather.
You may have heard the rumours that Britain is facing a long, snowy winter? Well it’s true and it is all to do with something called ‘El Nino’, this being the strongest since 1950, according at least to what the scientists are saying. If you can remember that winter, you’ll recall heavy snowfall brought chaos to much of the country, with airports closed and train services suspended. Some areas of Scotland recorded temperatures of -8.1F (-22.3C) with record 19 inch snowfalls in the highlands. The average UK temperature throughout that December was just 30F (-1C). The coldest winter ever on record!
But what causes the serve weather?
This weather phenomenon
happens when ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific rise due to changes in the wind direction; in effect it goes a totally different way. This creates a knock-on effect across the World as the amount of heat realised into the atmosphere is increased. One of these effects can be increased snow falls in the winter in the UK.
Met Office meteorologist and BBC forecaster Thomas Shafernaker, states: "This time round it could be the strongest in decades.”
If they are right then we could well be in for a winter like the one we had in 2009/2010 and that means we all need to make sure our homes and businesses are ready.
What can you do to ‘winter proof’ your home?
One of the easiest and cheapest things you can do is to make sure all your water pipes are lagged, and that includes the tap in the garden. After all, we all take our water supply for granted, but if your home or business suffers a burst pipe you could be left with no water and a hefty repair bill, not to mention all the terrible mess and fuss!
Remember, all pipework within the boundary of your home or business is your responsibility, so it really is worth protecting it properly.
- Find out where your internal stopcock is located.
- Make sure the water tanks are lagged.
- Ensure pipes, cisterns and tanks in unheated areas such as garages and lofts are lagged.
- It’s also an idea to get your boiler serviced, just so that it does not let you down when the weather gets colder
- Repair any dripping taps to prevent frozen pipes.
- Think about leaving the heating on low or drain down the system if you are going away for a long time.
- Check loft insulation is deep enough and in good condition
- On the coldest of nights, it can be a good idea to leave loft doors open, as this will allow warm air to circulate and keep pipes from freezing.
- Think about getting a simple ‘pipe-shaped’ heater for your garage.
- Make sure you know a good plumber and keep his number to hand.
- Make sure you have adequate insurance, there is nothing worse than thinking you are covered and finding out you are not.
Besides this there are other things to bear in mind too, like making sure your windows and door are draught free and that the double glazing is ok. You also need to make sure your roof is ok, with no missing tiles and that there are no cracks in the walls, all of which will make it easier for the winter weather to breach your homes ‘defences’.
We will be covering the important matter of keeping safe whilst travelling later, so make sure you watch out for that blog too.