February 14, 2012 19:00 ET

Swinton Warns Homeowners Not to Get Caught Out by Frozen Pipes

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2012) - As the country is hit by yet more icy temperatures, Swinton Insurance - the UK's leading home insurance retailer - is urging homeowners to take steps to prevent their pipes from freezing.

With the Met Office confirming a 100% probability of severe weather conditions, and with temperatures set to plummet to minus 11C in some parts of the UK, Swinton is advising homeowners on how to keep their pipes frost free.

When outside temperatures drop, water running through pipes around the home can freeze, expanding as it freezes and causing the pipe to burst- which can often prove costly.

Burst pipes can cause extensive damage to wooden flooring and carpets as well as electrical wiring and outlets.

Mould that develops as a result of water damage can also cause long-term health issues for homeowners in the form of respiratory problems, and can also mean interior walls being torn down and replaced at a later date.

Swinton is advising homeowners to do the following:

  • If you are going away, make sure your heating is timed to come on each day for a short period of time, to heat the pipes

  • Fit accessible pipes with foam sleeves or wrapping, to insulate and prevent exposure to cold air

  • Cracks and holes near outside water pipes should be sealed

  • Allow your taps to drip slightly during extreme temperatures, to relieve pressure should an ice block occur

  • Make sure you are able to locate your stopcock, should the water need turning off when a pipe gets blocked

Steve Chelton, Claims Manager at Swinton, says: "With extreme weather on the way, it is vital that homeowners prepare for the impact that this could have on their home. Something as obvious as keeping your boiler well serviced, and heating in full working order, can make all the difference - and of course the correct house insurance can provide added security if the worst happens."

For more information contact Mairead Rodden or Lucy Gordon at SKV Communications on 0161 838 7770 or email firstname.surname@skvcommunicatins.co.uk.

About Swinton

  • With 553 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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