Cold weather advice
Prepare your pipes for winter
It’s important to protect your home from cold weather to beat the freeze.
Before winter starts to bite, you should:
- find your internal stop tap and check it's working
- protect pipes in cold areas by covering them with lagging
- cover your outside tap to protect it from the cold
- get your boiler serviced
- keep your heating on low if you go away.
Don’t forget to have the number of a qualified plumber handy in case of an emergency – Watersafe is an online directory of approved plumbers.
For weather warnings and advice, see the Met Office.
How to lag pipes
To prevent a burst in the winter, use lagging to protect pipes in draughty areas such as attics, garages and outbuildings.
Available from most hardware shops and large DIY stores, lagging is a foam material made to wrap around pipes.
You will need:
- foam tubing called lagging
- a measuring tape
- a utility knife
- and gloves.
Step 1: Measure the length of pipe you wish to cover.
Step 2: Mark the correct length on the lagging and carefully cut the lagging with a utility knife.
Step 3: Place the lagging onto the pipe.
When lagging your pipes, remember:
- a 15mm pipe needs 32mm of lagging
- larger pipes need less - 19mm to 25mm of lagging
- to cover all joints and bends
- to keep lagging dry inside and use water proof insulation outside
- insulation will only delay freezing about eight hours in exposed areas.
Don't put insulation underneath the storage tank in your loft or attic.