Insurance & You

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Frozen and burst pipes

Houses in the snow

When temperatures drop during the winter, the water in your plumbing can freeze and expand, breaking the pipes and causing leaks and water damage to your home.

To help you avoid the nightmare of burst or frozen pipes, we’ve put together some practical tips and advice for the winter months.

Avoiding burst or frozen pipes*

What to do if a water pipe freezes

The main thing to remember with a frozen pipe is to act fast. Turn off the water supply and turn off the stopcock in the cold water tank. To avoid further damage make sure that anything that has frozen around the pipe is protected.

Open the tap nearest to the frozen section, and start to thaw it out using a gentle heat source, such as a hot water bottle or a hair dryer. Never use an open flame or boiling water to thaw it out. Start from the tap end, and work your way back towards the tank. This will allow the meltwater to flow out as you go.

What to do if a pipe bursts

Do not touch anything electrical until the electrician has given the all clear.

What happens when you make a claim

Call as soon as you can, and an expert claims team will be able to advise you on how best to proceed. If the burst pipe has caused a lot of damage, a loss adjuster may be appointed to manage your claim, and advise you on the best course of action.

The loss adjuster will make use of a professional restoration company to get your home back to normal, and you will receive a Certificate of Dryness to show that it has been properly dried out. Any possessions that were damaged may be replaced or restored by your insurance, dependent on the specific terms and conditions set out in your policy.

*Please note that these tips will not guarantee that you won’t get a frozen or burst pipe, but may help to reduce the likelihood of it happening. 

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