Six considerations for a healthy home in winter
11 April 2023
Protecting your home against winter woes is crucial when it comes to plumbing. Master Plumbers New Zealand chief executive Greg Wallace has 6 things homeowners should consider to ensure a trouble-free chilly season.
Clear leaves and debris from gutters and roofs.
“Flush the hose down the downpipes to ensure they are clear and flowing nicely,” says Greg. It is also good practice to prune any overhanging trees that may be coming into contact with your roof or gutters, and best to keep trees and branches away from any surface drainage grates too.
Find those roots
Greg says plumbers experience a spike in call outs to blocked drains at this time of year – often due to tree roots. “If you've got earthenware or clay pipes and a lot of trees around your property, it's worth getting them checked out before winter sets in each year. Most houses older than 1970 will have earthenware or clay pipes underground.”
Insulate your hot water cylinder
Inside, check your hot water cylinder for any surface drips or leakages. “This can easily go unnoticed if hot water cylinders are in a cupboard with clothes around them,” says Greg. It's preferable to wrap hot water cylinders too. “Approved insulation around cylinders is a good concept, as it can stop a lot of heat loss.”
Check your appliances
Washing machines, taps, showers, baths and dishwashers should also be checked for leaks. “Even a few drops of water can cause rotting and dampness, particularly in the cold winter months.”
Take a closer look at your pipes
Whilst sudden condensation or excess mould can be caused by a multitude of things, Greg advises checking for leakages in pipes. “If access is easy, get under the house and check there are no leaks coming from the pipes.”
Service your heater
Heating-wise, Greg advises homeowners to get their gas heaters serviced annually, preferably before the cold snap hits. “New Zealanders aren't great at getting appliances serviced, but for safety reasons, they need to be checked before their first use each winter. Whether it is LPG or natural gas, heaters collect dust particles when they aren't in use, and sometimes young children place toys or other objects in them.
“When we go into winter we might not have used that appliance for six months, and then suddenly we have a cold snap and we turn all these appliances on,” explains Greg. “If you don't get them serviced, you're going to get a dusty odour – the smell of burning dust particles and any foreign objects!”
Master Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers know what they're doing and come with a residential guarantee of workmanship, which gives customers peace of mind. Getting one in to give your house a once over could save you a lot of cost in the long run. Use our search tool to find your nearest.