Get ready for the shutdown

Christmas is a time for festive fun with the family. Our TV screens are full of emotive images advertising images such as accident-prone moggies, men on the moon and sprout boys – and we’re all hoping for snow. But that could be really bad news for businesses.

While a white Christmas may be romantic, as we get ready to welcome friends and family to join in our celebrations, it’s easy to forget that it can lead to frozen pipes, leaks and other problems in premises left unattended over the holiday period.

That’s why we are warning businesses across the UK to prepare their premises for winter ahead of the holiday to avoid interruptions to their festivities.

It is easy to forget how dependent we are on our plumbing systems – so now is the right time to put a bit of effort into preparing for the winter months to ensure your business plumbing and drainage is in tip-top working order.

Don’t let plumbing failures adversely impact your business this season. Repairs to damage caused by burst pipes and floods from blocked drains can be expensive. Here are a few tips to help protect your plumbing and drains for the rest of the winter:

  • Locate and label your main stop valve. Make sure all appropriate staff know where it is – and how to turn it off.
  • Stop valves tend to corrode slightly with time, so well before Christmas – so that there is time to deal with any problems before the holiday – check that it is working by exercising the valve twice from fully open to fully closed and back again (and always back the valve off ‘half a turn’ from fully open once you’re done). It is a good idea to do this every six months or so in any event.
  • Make sure that you know where all the pipes and storage tanks in your building are located and check that they are properly lagged and covered, especially in cooler roof areas. Make sure that staff who may be called out to deal with any problems during the holiday know the pipe locations and how to get access to pipes concealed behind things such as ceiling panels.
  • Inspect cold water cisterns well before Christmas and repeat the inspection annually. If there are any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact a reputable plumber.
  • Leave the heating on a low temperature to maintain circulation and warmth if the premises will be unoccupied over the holiday week.
  • Isolate, drain and insulate any outside taps and pipework.
  • Rain is actually far more likely than snow over Christmas – and coming just after a late autumn, with many trees not shedding leaves until well into November, there is a danger that gutters and drains will be blocked by fallen leaves and other debris. If you see any sign that water is slow to drain from roofs, car parks, etc, get a drainage company to do a CCTV inspection of the drains.
  • If the gutters are blocked, get someone to clear them. Drain Doctor uses a highly flexible system which allows gutters to be cleared from ground level using a powerful vacuum cleaner and a CCTV camera – avoiding all the problems of ladders or other equipment needed for working at height.
  • Plumbing and drainage is becoming increasingly technical. Always seek qualified professional help such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Calls us on 0800 70 71 72