Every winter thousands of Brits are left without heating and hot water because their pipes have frozen and burst, yet few of us ever do anything to avoid it.
Frozen pipes in the deep freeze
As the winter cold snap officially arrives and temperatures plummet, households across the UK are being urged to act now to stop burst or leaking pipes creating a bad start to the New Year. This timely reminder comes from Lloyds TSB home insurance.
Last year, burst and frozen water pipes cost the home insurer in the region of £39 million with around 26,000 claims of this type registered.
Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds TSB, said: ‘Claims relating to burst and frozen pipes cost on average £1,500 to fix but this can run high into the thousands so it is worth taking steps to avoid frozen pipes, ensuring you have adequate home insurance in place and also knowing how to limit the damage if a pipe does burst.’
Act now to prevent problems
Householders are being encouraged to act now, so here are some tips from Lloyds TSB for reducing the odds of a burst water pipe:
Tips to keep pipes from freezing:
- Have your boiler serviced at least once a year by a GasSafe registered professional
- Check that the loft is insulated properly but also has adequate ventilation
- Thicker curtains will help to keep more heat in the home
- Keep the central heating set to at least 10 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing.
What to do if a pipe bursts:
- Turn off the mains water supply
- Turn the electricity off in areas affected by the leak via the fuse box. If substantial water damage has been sustained, the electrical supply should be turned off completely until a qualified electrician is able to inspect the electrical system and ensure it is safe
- Drain the water system down by running all the cold taps
- Any dripping water can be caught in buckets. If the ceiling starts to bulge, pierce a few small holes in it to let the water drain through
- If water has been leaking for some time and the ceiling is bulging significantly, it may not be safe to enter the room
- Turn off the central heating and immersion heater, and turn on the hot taps to help drain the water system
- Contact your home insurer as soon as possible for further advice or to register a claim.