An EOW or Escape Of Water – a leak, to you and I – has been deemed the most common cause of home insurance claims. And the number one cause of water damage in the home is burst and frozen pipes.
Even a small leak can do serious water damage. Here we will look at what you can do to avoid your pipes bursting and how to deal with it if the worst should happen. You must seek leak Claim help immediately to mitigate the damage.
Most people wont think about frozen pipes at the start of the summer, but the colder weather will be back sooner than you think. Burst Pipes is the leading cause of Water Damage in the home. According to the Association of British Insurers, EOW’s cost insurers around £2.5m a every day. All as result of burst and leaking pipes. During the very cold period in 2010, the average cost of damage to people’s homes was over £7,000!
For most people, even should you be covered or don’t suffer any financial loss, it’s a significant stress having to deal with water damage claims and much better to try and prevent it happening in the first place.
Firstly make sure you know where your stopcock is and how to turn the water off. To stop water freezing, make sure that all your pipes are lagged, even in hard to get to places. Dripping taps should be repaired because if these freeze, they will block your pipes and may cause over pressure on joints and fittings. Some people forget to insulate the water tank too. It’s important to aim for nice thick insulation of at least 50mm.
Program your heating to come on automatically. If heating is on for an hour or more each day while you’re away and the temperature plummets, it may stop the pipes freezing. Asking someone to pop in if possible is always a good idea so if you do have a leak, it’ll be spotted, and they can turn the water off to reduce the water damage.
Water doesn’t necessarily mean you have frozen pipes. Ideally check with the neighbours to see if they have the same problem. It may be that there’s a water board repair on a mains affecting a number of homes. However if they have water, your pipes are probably frozen which can lead to further water damage.
Should you find you pipes are frozen:
Turn off the water at the stopcock.
Turn on all your cold taps and flush your toilets.
Try to defrost pipes using a hairdryer.
Switch off your central heating, immersion heater then turn on your hot taps to run off all the hot water.
If anything electrical has got wet switch off the mains. Never touch the mains switch if it’s wet.
Remove as much standing water as possible using a mop or wet vac if the leak isn’t too severe. If it’s a more serious leak, call in a water damage expert help.
Contact a water damage repair company as soon as possible. They can get specialist drying a good equipment in. You also need to call your insurance company. They will appoint a loss adjuster to contact you to assess the damage in detail. In very extreme cases, you will need the assistance of a Loss Assessors to fight your case with Insurers. They will help you arrange alternative accommodation (buildings and contents policies may provide for this), engage specialist contractors and surveyors who will plan the restoration process for you. Ideally you should do this within 24 hours of you contacting your insurer.
If you have been declined while trying to claim on your domestic or commercial insurance, we can help. We can also help with professional services, for example, Brokers, VAR Valuations and Managing Agents.