Now’s the time to check your pipes

Once the ice and snow melt and the temperatures rise pipes and plumbing may start to seep water from pipes that have been split by expanding freezing water.

In 2017 water leaks, known as escape of water by the insurance industry, was one of the most common reasons for people to claim on their Ageas building’s insurance. With the forecast showing the big thaw is on the way for many parts of the UK this weekend now is the time to check your pipes.

Robin Challand, Claims Director at Ageas UK said A burst pipe can leak 400 litres of water in an hour; that’s around two bath tubs full of water that could end up drenching electrical circuits, personal possessions, computers, TV’s, stereo’s and cause devastating damage to walls, ceilings and floors. If this happens the first thing to do is turn the water supply off at the mains,  this will stop more the water coming in to your home, then where possible move your personal possessions away from the water. Unfortunately then all you can do is find a mop, call a plumber and check your insurance policy.

Householders can protect themselves against the stress and devastation of having their homes soaked by following this expert advice now;

Test all taps to make sure that water is free flowing; if your flow of water is restricted or intermittent call a plumber now as you may have a frozen pipe. Split, dripping, rusting or oxidised pipes/joints are also warning signs

Keep yourself and your pipes warm; keep your heating on low at nights even if your house is fully insulated as this will stop water sitting in pipes from getting frozen.

Remember the pipes in your attics and loft spaces; if you have water pipes or cisterns in your loft open the loft hatch and let warm air enter the roof void during this very cold weather. If you can safely get up to your loft check the lagging and insulation is still in place and that your pipes and cisterns haven’t frozen.

Find your water isolation and shut-off valves; make sure you know how to turn the water off and that everyone else in the house knows how to do it too. If you do have a leak turn your main supply off turn then fill your bath and sinks as this will help reduce the amount of water that will soak your home

More advice about protecting your property during the big thaw can be found here