Make Sure Your Property Is Protected This Winter
As the cold spell continues, homeowners are being urged to ensure they’ve protected their property from the weather. Burst pipes can cause extensive damage throughout a property, including to your wallpaper, bespoke staircase and appliances. It is much easier to prevent the issues arising in the first place than to have to deal with the repairs.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has issued a reminder to property owners about the problems that frozen pipes can cause and some helpful advice on how to prevent them. According to figures from the ABI, a claim for damage from frozen or burst pipes averages £6,500 to £7,500. However, the problems can also cause significant disruption to a household while the property is restored. By putting some simple measures in place, the risk of damage to your property can be minimised, reducing the need to put in an insurance claim.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
If you’re planning on being away from your property for any length of time over the winter, you should put your heating on a timer. This is especially important during periods of severe cold weather, as having the heating coming on regularly can help to keep pipes warmer and stop them from freezing.
You should also ensure that there is appropriate insulation around any pipes and tanks that are situated in the loft. These can become particularly cold if the hot water is not being used regularly, and a burst pipe in the loft might not be noticed straight away, potentially causing damage to the upper floors and your bespoke staircase.
Have an Emergency Plan
It’s important as a homeowner that you understand exactly what to do if anything does happen to your pipes or heating system. Firstly, you should know how to find your stopcock and turn the water off. You also need to check this is working and can easily be turned so that you can switch the water off completely in an emergency.
Before the cold weather, it’s beneficial to repair any taps that are dripping. This will help to prevent a build-up of water that could potentially freeze and cause damage to the property.
Frozen or Burst Pipes
Even if you do take preventative action, you could still suffer from frozen or burst pipes. However, if you react in the right way, you can reduce the amount of damage that you suffer.
If your pipes freeze, you should switch off the water straight away using the stopcock. Then try to gently thaw the pipes - perhaps by using a hot water bottle - or you can wait for the weather to warm up. When your pipes burst, you need to turn the central heating off as well and drain the entire system. Then contact your insurer so that you can arrange for a professional to repair the damage.
It is far better to stop a burst or frozen pipe occurring than it is to have to rectify the damage that this can cause.