Burst pipes are the most common cause of home insurance claims in the UK (1) and cost an average of £3,500 in damage to property and contents. The expense is not the worst of it, months of disruption follows as the property is dried out and repaired.
Frost is the greatest threat to water services throughout the winter. UK Water Regulations require any fitting or apparatus to be correctly insulated to prevent frost, unless in a location that is heated for more than 12 hours a day (2). It seems obvious when you are scraping the ice from the car on a frosty morning. However, the insurance claims show that many homeowners, landlords and occupiers seem to be unaware of this requirement.
The holly trees are full of red berries. The leaves are burning brighter and falling late. The acorn shells are thick. The houses are full of spiders and the birds are leaving early. If old wives’ tales are anything to go by, we could be looking at a harsh winter ahead. How should the industrious housing professional best prepare for the cold? Joe Bradbury of Housing Association Magazine investigates.
Long-range weather forecasts claim Britain could be braced to face the coldest and harshest winter for almost a decade. The brutally cold weather is expected to be driven by a plunge in solar activity and the El Nino warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean, bringing the first snowfall as early as November and “potentially crippling snowfalls and ice storms” between Christmas and New Year.