Winter Weather Challenges

Friday, December 02, 2016

December sees the real start of winter and whilst most of our thoughts at this time of year focus on Christmas, it’s worth sparing a little time to make sure that you’re protected and safe from the elements.

The cold weather that usually arrives this time of year can cause real problems if you’re not prepared. A burst pipe can cause severe damage and major disruption to your home. Winter weather can also often make driving conditions difficult. Here are a few pointers to help keep you safe this season.

Frost is the solid deposition of water vapour from humid air. It normally forms on still, clear, cold nights. The cool night air causes water vapour in the air to condense and form droplets on the ground. When the temperature of the ground or surface is below 0 degrees Celsius the moisture freezes into ice crystals.

The minimum air temperature is a good indication of the frost and ice risk in your area. However, in some situations a ground frost can form even when the air temperature is above 0 degrees Celsius. Frost will usually occur during clear winter nights when the sun’s absence causes surface temperatures to plunge. Cloud cover can act as a natural insulator, trapping warm air near the surface and hampering frost formation. Clear nights let heat radiate out into the atmosphere, cooling the surface and encouraging frost formation. Many different factors contribute to frost forming—cloud cover, air temperature, wind speed and rainfall all influence the formation of frost, which makes it difficult to forecast more than a few days in advance.

Protect Your Property

winter-pipes
Frost can wriggle its way into your building through loose tiles, chipping paint, tiny cracks and exposed pipes. It can also freeze and burst pipes, causing a lengthy and messy clean-up process. Protect your property by heeding these general precautions:

Winter Driving
winter-motoring
Icy conditions mean that driving can be treacherous. Add to that the blinding, low winter sun that often accompanies frosty days, being on the road can become particularly dangerous at this time of year. Follow the tips listed below to ensure your safety when driving on frost-covered roads:

And finally, to make sure you enjoy a safe & merry Christmas:

christmas

In the event that something does go wrong – make sure you have your home and motor insurance policy number and telephone numbers to hand. These can be found on our Contact Us page.