Water damage costing homeowners billionsIt affects some 3.3 million households per year

12 March 2007

 

Dishwasher loading tray

Consider whether the tray is big and sturdy enough for your plates

Britons pay more than £1.8 billion per year to repair the damage caused by leaking water in their homes, according to research out today.

Halifax Home Insurance said that during the last five years leaking water from washing machines, dishwashers, burst water tanks, pipes, showers and baths left the homes of nearly 17 million Britons in disarray - some 3.3 million households per year.

The two biggest culprits for causing water damage in the home are washing machines, which account for damage to more than 5.2 million households (14 per cent) and showers (10 per cent).

Burst pipes, leaking baths and ‘human error’ account for 7 per cent of leaks each.

Water wastage

It seems Britons inflict an avoidable £130 million of damage each year on themselves simply by forgetting to turn off taps - washing away 630,137 litres of water every day.

The water damaging properties as a result of taps left on could be used to fill 7,876 baths or flush 84,018 toilets. Leaking dishwashers caused 3 per cent of damage, followed by burst hot tanks and cold tanks with 2 per cent each.

In response to the research findings Halifax Home Insurance is urging homeowners to ensure that they regularly check their fixed wet appliances and pipe work for any leaks, and to make sure they always turn taps off after use.

Lagging pipes also helps to prevent unexpected bursts from frost damage, as can ensuring that central heating is not left off for any length of time during cold spells.

Damaged homes

The insurer is also warning the one in three homeowners in Britain (36 per cent) who do not have buildings insurance that water damage can be costly to put right, at an average cost of £560 per incident.

Furthermore, its research found 60,000 Britons per year face bills in excess of £10,000 after leaking water has devastated their property.

Vicky Emmott, Senior Underwriter at Halifax Home Insurance, said: ‘Changing fashions in the housing market have increased the likelihood of homes being damaged by leaking water.

‘The trend for homes with multiple bathrooms and the current vogue for wet rooms have significantly increased the risk of water leaks and damage in the home.

‘Older properties are vulnerable as a result of corroding pipes, which face increasing strain as Britain endures ever more extreme fluctuations in temperatures as a result of global warming.’

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