Care and Maintenance – Frost Precaution

To download a copy of this document, please click here.

Frost Precautions Checklist

Damage caused to water systems and consequent damage to building structures and contents by prolonged exposure to low temperatures can be considerable and inconvenient.  Prevention costs very little and the following hints will be of value.

  • Know the position of your mains and other stop taps and label them wherever possible.
  • Do not allow taps to drip, especially if your building has external waste pipes. Have the taps re-washered or replaced.
  • Protect the ends of overflow pipes from draughts.
  • Turn off and drain external water taps. If the building is to be unoccupied for some time, drain down the entire central heating and water supply systems.
  • Insulate any pipework that is external, in roof spaces or mounted on the inside face of external walls. Insulate cold water storage tanks, but make sure that any roof space insulation does not go underneath such tanks.
  • Where it is impractical to insulate such pipes and they do not receive adequate heating, consider using an electrically heated tape controlled by a frost-stat.
  • Keep central heating ticking over if a building is unoccupied. Keep the pump running overnight when the boiler is switched off.
  • Remember that insulation materials cannot guarantee freedom from freezing under all conditions and neither is it possible to completely drain any water system. It is therefore sensible to keep a special watch on a building’s services when a thaw occurs or a system is being refilled.
  • If a burst occurs and a large quantity of water has been released, consult your surveyor, since the damage may go beyond decoration and finishes and may have affected the structural qualities of certain materials (notably man-made timber boards used in flooring).
  • Consider whether an insurance claim would be appropriate. Consult the Synod Property Officer if advice is required.