Protect your property, tips to help avoid an escape of water disaster…With the unpredictable weather in the UK and the common occurrence of freezing weather “cold snaps”, an escape of water is one of the most common causes of property damage here in the UK and, can be disastrous if not detected quickly. When the temperature drops water can freeze in exposed pipes, this causes the pipe to expand and burst. As the ice melts, water escapes from the split pipe causing damage to your property. There are some precautions you may wish to take to minimise the risks of damage to your home from a burst pipe ……………
- Ensure your water pipes/tanks/cylinders are sufficiently lagged/insulated throughout the property. You may wish to set the heating to come on intermittently if you are away from the property, especially during the winter months, this will help prevent the pipes from freezing.
- Leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate in unheated areas of your property if you intend to leave the property unoccupied for a period during cold weather, be mindful of attics and basements which are often unheated areas.
- If you are travelling for a lengthy period, you may wish to turn the water off at the mains. Turn the taps on to drain the system as much as possible.
- Install a leak detection device to your water system. The device is designed to detect a leak in the system and automatically shut off the system.
If you do suffer a burst pipe due to the pipes freezing, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent further damage:
- Make sure you know where your stopcock is located and that you can easily turn it off if needed as it can become quite stiff.
- Turn off the water and turn on taps to make sure the system is drained to prevent further water escaping.
- Try to locate where the water is leaking from.
- It may not be possible to safely switch off your electrics, so do not touch any sockets or switches and consider contacting an electrician.
- Move valuables away from any dripping water if possible.
- Please keep personal safety in mind when checking your home and, contact a trusted professional should you not be able to do so yourself.
Burst pipes are not the only cause of escape of water, there are other checks you can undertake to protect your property, such as….
- Check the sealant around shower trays and baths, also tile grouting, these can breakdown and fail over time.
- Inspect your radiators, valves and pipes for any signs of corrosion and rust.
- Do not leave baths/basins unattended when taps are running with the plug in. Incidents are common where baths/basins are left running and overflow causing damage, this is especially important in apartments, where water can leak into apartments below. In this instance you may be held res
Although these may seem to be minor incident’s, they can leak undetected for long periods of time causing extensive damage.
You should only attempt such measures if it is safe for you to do so
If in doubt, contact us, or your Insurer who can advise you on the best course of action and advise coverage available under the Policy. The above is for your guidance only and, is not intended to be an exhaustive list of measures and nor should this be taken as an approval for any works.