It might seem like the big freeze will never end and the winter is far from over yet. But when it does eventually start to warm up, business and home owners should be on the look out for leaks caused by bust pipes. The below zero temperatures we’ve had can lead to pipes freezing and business and home owners could be unaware their pipes have burst until the thaw when water begins to leak into their property.
Unchecked, water leaks can quickly turn into large amounts of water gushing into attics or lofts, damaging the structure, electrical wiring and equipment and belongings. Catching them early on can help prevent a lot of damage, inconvenience and stress.
So how can you spot a burst pipe?
– Look for damp patches on ceilings and walls
– Inspect the loft and any isolated areas that may not be as adequately insulated to check for leaks
– If you turn on the tap and no water comes out – don’t take any chances – call a plumber immediately and turn off the water supply
– Check exposed pipes for signs of damage – a leak will not occur until the water has thawed
– If you are going away for an extended period leaving your property unattended, make sure you have someone who can check it regularly
What should you do if you discover a burst or damaged pipe?
– Turn off the water supply at the main water tap (or valve), and turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank if you have one
– If water has leaked near electrics or electrical appliances, switch off the mains immediately and don’t touch any areas that are damp
– Protect or remove everything around any pipe that appears to be frozen to avoid damage
– Contact your business or home insurer to let them know about the damage within the time specified in your insurance policy
– Ring a tradesperson – again check with your insurer on whether they have a panel of approved tradespeople
Hiscox offers a range of business insurance policies to cover the liabilities and property risks of small businesses and consultants in the UK, as well as profession-specific policies that you can tailor to suit the risks that your business faces. Hiscox also provides specialist insurance cover for homes and their contents, valuables and collections. For more information, visit www.hiscox.co.uk