Water Damage

Water Damage

One major cause of home insurance claims is burst pipes. This occurs when water freezes, expands and then escapes, causing major disruption and damage. In the winter of 2009, burst pipes accounted for nearly £1 billion in insurance claims, with individual claims as high as £100,000. The average claim for a burst pipe last winter was £15,000.  

The following checklist will help avoid water damage from burst pipes.  Even if you have your heating and hot water on constantly, you’re still vulnerable to frozen or burst pipes, so it’s worth:

  • Insulating pipes, water tanks and cisterns, especially in unheated areas like lofts, outbuildings and under floor spaces.
  • Test taps and fix any dripping taps as even a small trickle can quickly freeze and lead to a blocked pipe.
  • During cold snaps you should consider having the heating on 24hrs a day.
  • Leaving the central heating on low if you are going away, or turning the water supply off at the stopcock.

If you discover a frozen pipe:

  1. Turn off the water supply at the main stop tap, and turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank if you have one – it’s usually found in the loft.
  2. Protect everything around the pipe that appears to be frozen to avoid damage if it bursts.
  3. Gently warm the frozen pipe with a hairdryer or hot water bottle.
  4. Open the tap closest to the frozen pipe, and begin thawing the pipe from the tap side of the frozen area.
  5. If a pipe or tank should actually burst, turn off the water at the main stopcock immediately and switch off all central heating and other water heating installations.
  6. Let water in the system drain out by turning on all the taps and then call in a professional plumber to make the repairs. Most water companies operate approved plumber schemes if you don’t have a regular plumber.

Read more on water damage from floods >>

Why not check out our Newsletter article on the Latest Leak Detection Technology!

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