Avoiding Burst Pipes

Just a small fracture to a water pipe can cause extensive damage to your home or business premises. The extent of the damage can be incredible as can the length of time it can take for the property to dry out

The problem

During previous harsh winters many households, landlords and business owners found themselves presented with a scene of devastation following the thawing of a frozen pipe.

Extensive damage to ceilings, masonry and plaster as well as to contents, furnishings and carpets is not uncommon.

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Some steps that you can take to help avoid such a situation include:

  • Ensuring that your heating system, including the thermostat, is working correctly
  • Knowing where to turn off the water supply
  • Making sure that water pipes and cold water tanks, especially those in loft-spaces are suitably lagged and insulated.
  • Turning off taps external taps and disconnecting any hoses

 

Unoccupied Properties are especially at risk

Unoccupied properties are particularly vulnerable to this problem. Steps to help reduce the risk include:

  •  Keeping the property heated if it left unoccupied for a short period
  • Draining and shutting down your system for longer periods of unoccupancy (this may well be a condition of your insurances and it is recommended that you speak to your broker / insurance company if you have an unoccupied property for clarification)
  • Asking somebody to check on your property daily – although this will not stop a leak happening it could greatly reduce the extent of the damage if the leak is detected early
  • If you let your property make sure your tenants are aware of their responsibilities and what actions need to be taken if they are leaving the property unoccupied during the winter months.

 

What to do if you have a burst pipe

If you are unfortunate enough to have a burst pipe turn off the water supply, do not use the electrics as these may need to be checked by a professional electrician and report the matter as soon a possible to your broker or insurance company.