Cold weather tips for tenants

1. Locate your stopcock and know how to turn it off

The stopcock is the valve used for turning on and off the water supply within your property. To shut odd the water supply, turn the stopcock clockwise.


The main risk to your property during cold weather is water damage from burst pipes. If this happens, you will have to use the stopcock to turn off the water supply to minimise water damage.


The stopcock should be listed on the inventory you were given when you moved into your property, so this is a good place to check if you don’t already know where it is. The stopcock tends to be under the kitchen sink, but this can vary from property to property.

 

2. Programme your central heating to come on regularly

One of the best ways to avoid burst pipes is to programme your heating system to come on regularly, or to keep it continuously on low. This is especially important if you are going to be away from the property for a few days.


You should have been shown how to programme your boiler timer when you checked in to the property. If you are unsure, search for the boiler make and model on Google or YouTube for instructions.

 

3. Keep guttering clear

At this time of year, following leaves and branches falling in Autumn, the guttering and drainpipes around your property can become blocked. If left, this debris can cause a build-up of water, which may filter into the property through the roof. Guttering is not always visible from the ground, especially if you live in a flat, but be vigilant inside your property for signs of a leak in areas close to gutters and drainpipes.


Contact us if you think your guttering may be blocked and you cannot reach it safely.

 

4. Don’t forget about ventilation

Although it can be tempting to keep the windows and vents closed in colder months, this is when it is most important to ensure that your property is well ventilated to avoid condensation damp. Keep internal doors closed and use extractor fans when cooking and showering to stop steam travelling to colder rooms. Avoid drying clothes on radiators - drying clothes outside (where possible) is best.


Read our tips for preventing condensation damp here.

 

5. Check your radiators are working properly

From time to time, air can build up in your heating system, preventing your radiators from working as effectively as they should. This can make a significant difference to the room temperature, especially during winter months.


Check your radiator by turning it on and running your hand over it to check that it is heating all over – if there is air in the system the radiator will have hot and cold patches rather than heating evenly. You can easily rectify this issue by bleeding the radiator, find out how to do this here.

 

6. Keep your garden in order

Winter weather can be unpredictable so, if your property has a garden, ensure that outdoor furniture, trampolines and any other items are secured to avoid damage in high winds.

 

What to do if a pipe bursts

A burst pipe can occur when part of the pipe freezes, causing pressure to build – and eventually burst – the pipe behind the blockage. As pipes contain water, a burst pipe can cause a significant amount of damage to a property, quickly.

Follow the below steps if you experience a burst pipe in your property:

  1. Turn off the water supply by turning the stopcock clockwise.
  2. Turn off your central heating system.
  3. Drain the system by turning on all taps and flushing the toilet.
  4. Turn off any electrical equipment located close to the leak.
  5. Use towels and buckets to collect any water.

Clan Gordon tenants should contact our office after carrying out the above steps.

See here for details on how to deal with other common maintenance issues in your Clan Gordon property.