Prevention is always better than cure so try and protect your pipes from freezing and avoid the water damage, repair work and cost altogether.
- Insulate your loft and your water tanks.
- Insulate all your pipes.
- Open the loft trap door on cold days to let warm air circulate.
- If you're going away for a winter break, leave the heating on low if you can. Most modern boilers have a frost protection thermostat so that they come on automatically if the temperature drops too low. Ask a friend or relative to pop round and check that pipes haven't burst or frozen.
- Replace washers in dripping taps - a slow drip or trickle can freeze and eventually block a waste pipe completely.
- Make sure you know where your stop tap is and check regularly that you can turn it off easily.