As well as stopping us from being able to get around, cold weather can also potentially cause all sorts of problems in our homes. Here’s some guidance for our council tenants which might be useful for dealing with some of the most common problems:

  • We have been receiving a high number of calls from our tenants regarding frozen/blocked water supplies. Unfortunately there is very little which can be done to help this until the pipes begin to thaw naturally. See further down this article for some advice which might help in the meantime.
  • Please can tenants ensure they only call our Repairs Service number in the case of emergencies such as water bursts. This will help ensure we can give priority to the most serious incidents.
  • You can report non-serious incidents using our online form.
  • Check up on elderly neighbours and relatives when possible. Your visit could be a huge help to them.

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Dealing with frozen water pipes

  • Turn the Heat Up in the Property – You can attempt to thaw the frozen pipe by increasing the temperature in the property. Turning the thermostat up may be all that is needed to allow the ice blockage to melt.
  • Hot Towels – Another way to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap towels that have been dipped in hot water around the pipe. This can help to slowly thaw the blockage.
  • Keep all interior doors open – Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • Add extra insulation – to exposed pipes such as pipes under sinks, in basements or along the exterior of the house.
  • If a frozen water pipe does burst, the first thing you should do is shut off the main water line into your property.
  • Outside toilets will sometimes have a separate stop. It may be a good idea to turn these off until the weather warms to avoid pipes bursting.

Things to avoid!

  • Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame! This can not only damage the pipe, it can also start a fire in your property.

Are you insured?

Please be aware that the council will not be liable for damage caused by frozen pipes. To be covered, you will need to have your home contents insured. Find out more about this on our website.

Lead Member for Housing, Cllr David Griffiths, said: “Our Repairs Service are working flat out to assist tenants with emergencies and offer the best advice for dealing with issues caused by the severe weather. Unfortunately, there is little which can be done about frozen pipes whilst the temperatures remain below zero. I would urge tenants to look at the advice in this article and ensure they are prepared, should the worst happen.

“I would also emphasise the importance of having home contents insurance. The council does not automatically insure tenants against damage such as burst pipes. I would strongly urge tenants to ensure they are covered to avoid incurring the potentially huge costs that can result from this sort of damage.”

Find out how you can be prepared for severe weather

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