It’s easy to take our water supply for granted, but when a plumbing emergency crops up, it can cause serious damage to your home. If you’re unlucky enough to suffer burst pipes, act fast to minimise the water damage. If you’re not careful, the costs can run into thousands of pounds.
There are a number of causes of burst pipes and leaks, but one of the most common is when we have freezing weather. When the pipes freeze, the water inside them expands, causing cracks or bursts. If you’re going on holiday and the temperature is likely to drop below freezing in your absence, leave your central heating on at a minimum of 15°C for a few hours each day to reduce the risks.© 2mmedia / Adobe Stock
Increased water pressure, caused when a pipe, the toilet, or a water pump in your home becomes clogged, can make the pipes expand and may also cause them to crack or burst. If you fear there may be a blockage in your system, call a plumber to take a look, before it’s too late.
Read on for some tips on what to do should you suffer a burst pipe this winter…
Turn off the water
Turning off the water at the mains is the first thing you should do. Make sure you know where the main stopcock is and turn it off immediately. This stops the flow of water into your house and prevents the pipes from continually filling up.
If water is still flooding out of the burst pipe, drain your cold water system by running all the cold taps, while continually flushing your toilet until the flow of water stops. If water has leaked into any electrical sockets, turn the electricity off at the mains until they dry out. Check out what you need to do to make an insurance claim and photograph the damage if possible as evidence.
Call your insurer
Even if you manage to turn off the water quickly, there’s still a chance of damage – and you’ll need to have the leak repaired before you can turn the water on again. Most insurers provide round-the-clock support for domestic emergencies, such as a burst pipe.
Depending on your policy, your insurer may be able to find you an authorised tradesperson to help you sort out the problems. Check your policy schedule to ensure you have home emergency cover.
Contact a plumber
After notifying your insurer, contact a professional plumber to assess the damage and make an immediate repair. If your electrical sockets are wet and damaged, call out an electrician too. Don’t use any electrical appliances that have been in contact with the water.
Getting your home back to normal after a burst pipe can be challenging and a lot of cleaning will be needed. Walls can take between four and eight weeks to dry out fully. They may need re-plastering if the damage is particularly severe and ceilings may even need attention if the burst pipe was upstairs.
Unfortunately, your furniture and carpets may have been damaged beyond salvation. Even if they dry out, they may smell stale. If you suffer a burst pipe, causing damage to your furniture, help is at hand. After contacting your insurer, contact Furniture Rental Online on 0800 7819 427 for details of our emergency furniture rental.
We can help you get your home back on track, thanks to our emergency furniture packages. We can also help insurance companies and loss adjusters with the insurance claims.