Did you know that… Escape of water claims rose to £755 million in 2008 (Source: Datamonitor)
Here are some simple steps you can take to help you avoid this unpleasant experience:
Make sure you are prepared for winter by following these simple steps:
- Make sure that exposed water pipes and tanks in the loft are properly insulated. Do not insulate underneath water tanks so that the warmth from below will help to prevent the water from freezing.
- Leave your heating on constant i.e. 24 hours per day, during severe freezing temperatures.
- Know where your main stop valve is located and make sure you can turn it on/off with ease.
- It’s also a good idea to label it so that all the household are fully aware of its location in an emergency situation.
- Repair dripping taps. It’s usually just a washer that’s needed.
- A constantly dripping overflow pipe is a sure sign that your system requires some maintenance.
- If, during freezing conditions, the heating fails or makes loud banging noises, this could indicate that a pipe is freezing. Turn off the boiler and call a plumber immediately.
When you leave your home unoccupied:
- If you plan to go away, no matter how short a period, leave your heating on – constantly if a cold spell is predicted.
- Check if any unoccupancy conditions will apply to your insurance policy.
- Do isolate the domestic water supply if your home is to be left for a long period.
- Leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate into the loft space.
- Even if you leave your home for longer than one day, ask a neighbour or relative to check the house regularly so that any problems can be detected and dealt with immediately.
Follow these simple steps should you experience a burst pipe:
- Turn off the water supply at the main stop valve.
- Contact an approved plumbing and heating engineer for assistance.
- If you should locate a frozen pipe, NEVER use a naked flame to thaw it out. A hot water bottle or hairdryer on low heat will assist in achieving a gradual defrost, always starting from the end nearest to the tap.