Brr…illiant Advice to Help your Business for Winter

Protecting water pipes in your buildings from freezing is a priority as winter temperatures regularly fall below zero. Frozen pipes can lead to them potentially bursting, and we want to avoid that happening if we can.

Whilst nothing can guarantee you won’t experience a water pipe emergency, in this guide, you will find tips on how to reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing this winter.

Generally useful tips to remember are:

  1. Keeping buildings warm reduces the risk of pipes freezing. Consider leaving the heating on low, or setting it on a timer, if the business is going to be closed for an extended period of time.
  2. Leaving doors (room, cupboard and cabinet doors) open increases the circulation of the warm air. This will also improve air flow in corners and nooks where water pipes are often placed.

Ways to Stay CHIL over Winter

 ExplanationAdvice
CRISIS PLANBe prepared. Research how to use your stopcock and have emergency contacts easily accessible.

 

 

Have an emergency kit ready

 

 

It would be a good idea to have a supply of clean, fresh drinking water stored

HEATKeeping your building heated helps keep the pipes in a warm environmentIf you’re going away, consider leaving the heating on a timer or a low setting.

 

 

Organise a regular check of a closed business in order to check for any issues.

INSULATEFit your water tank with an insulation jacket or provide some suitable, insulation material

 

 

Protect pipes by directly applying insulating tape to them.

 

 

Any exposed pipes, tanks of cisterns should be insulated.

 

If you’re not using the business over winter consider having your pipes drained

LEAKDripping water increases the risk of that water freezing so repair any leaks as soon as possibleMinimise draughts through the use of a draught excluder as draughts can increase the likelihood of water freezing

 

 

Always check you have adequate insurance for your business as repairing burst pipes and leaks can be expensive

 

Emergency! What To Do If…

A PIPE FREEZES

  1. Turn off your water supply at the stopcock.
  2. Turn off your immersion heater and central heating.
  3. Turn the cold tap on so any water in the pipe can escape.
  4. If the water is not draining properly, turn off the tap as this could indicate that the pipe below is frozen.
    • Remember to switch it off as soon as the stream of water stops.
  5. If you have safe access to the pipe you can wrap a heated cloth around the point of the freeze to try to thaw it.
  6. Contact an approved plumber as soon as possible.

A PIPE BURSTS

  1. Turn off your water supply at the stopcock.
  2. Turn off your immersion heater and central heating.
  3. Turn off your electricity at the mains if the water has leaked near your electrics or near any appliances.
  4. Turn on all taps to drain your pipes quickly.
    • Remember to switch the taps off as soon as the stream of water stops.
  5. Soak up or block off any escaping water with thick towels
  6. Contact an approved plumber as soon as possible.

Planning Ahead for Winter

Just like Father Christmas himself, it is important to plan ahead for the more taxing winter months. Running a business is time consuming and so it can be easy to forget to prepare for potential eventualities. Take note of these four tips than can help you help yourself.

  1. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY

Locate your business insurance policy and take note of your policy number and how to get in contact with your provider should you need to make a claim.

Store a note of these details in your phone so you have access to the information 24/7.

Have a look at your coverage and assess whether you need to make adjustments to protect your business. These adjustments could include:

  • downtime
  • closure
  • damage to your premises during winter
  1. MAKE A VISUAL INVENTORY OF VALUABLE STOCK AND EQUIPMENT

Having a visual account of the condition of stock and equipment before and after damage will be crucial to support any claims you make.

It’s worthwhile taking images of the exterior and interior of your premises, as well.

  1. SET REMINDERS, RIGHT NOW

It is easy to get caught up in festivities and winding down the business to prepare for the winter period. This business could result in forgetting certain responsibilities.

By setting reminders now to leave your heating on over your winter closure, and potentially arranging for someone to visit the premises regularly to check its condition, you can ensure that protecting your business won’t slip your mind.

  1. PLAN YOUR CRISIS PLAN

Find out how to use your stopcock, have the phone number of an emergency plumber and your water network’s emergency number.

Any emergency is stressful and chaotic; the more you have prepared yourself the easier you will find handling the pressure. Having quick access to this information will be vital.

Your Essential Winter Checklist

Work through the below list to ensure you’re business is prepared for the winter.

  1. Locate your internal stopcock
  2. Make sure your boiler has been serviced
  3. Set a reminder to leave the heating on if closing the premises for a few days
  4. Insulate water tanks and lag your pipes
  5. (If a loft space exists) check the loft insulation is in good condition
  6. Ensure pipes, cisterns, and tanks in unheated areas are lagged
  7. Leave loft doors open to allow warm air to circulate
  8. Check for drips and leaks – repair them if found
  9. Keep a separate, clean and fresh supply of drinking water in case of emergency
  10. Make sure you have adequate cover under your insurance policy
  11. Note the name and number of a recommended, emergency plumber
  12. Note the contact information from your suppliers

For more information about this post and how Energy Solutions can help with your Electricity, Gas, or Water, click on the links, or check out the contact details at the bottom of the page.