The icy cold start to the year is playing havoc with household plumbing, leading to a 50 per cent increase in damp problems and home floods caused by burst or frozen water pipes, according to AA Home Insurance.
Homeowners have lodged more than £15 million in damp claims nationwide after recent icy weather froze water in pipes, causing them to burst and cause flood and damp problems in people homes.
Les Meikle on frozen pipes
Les Meikle, managing director of Wise Property Care commented: "After a decade of mostly mild winters it is easy to forget the threat posed to your home by frozen water pipes and the damp problems that can occur. The unusual cold weather is a stark reminder that burst water pipes can cause serious water damage and damp problems to both buildings and contents such as carpets and furniture".
"The good news is that by taking some simple precautions, you can reduce the risk of stopping your pipes from freezing. This is especially important if you go away on holiday. No one likes to come home to a damp surprise".
Tips to stop burst pipes and damp problems
Check out the following tips to help you prevent burst pipes and damp problems:
- Know where to find your stopcock! Then you can cut off the flow of water if a pipe starts leaking. Research has shown that one in three homeowners do not know where their stopcock is.
- In cold weather, check all your taps from time to time. If little or no water flows there may be frozen water in the pipes.
- Insulate pipes that are most likely to freeze and do not forget corners and elbows of pipe work. They tend to be the most exposed. Find supplies at your nearest DIY store.
- If you go away, leave the central heating on 'tick over' (set your thermostat to low) to prevent freezing. Whatever you do, do not turn it off.
- Ask a friend, neighbour or relative to check your home while you are away. This will ensure burst pipes are spotted early and damp and water damage is minimized.
- Turn off any indoor valves on pipes that lead to taps outside your home. Then open the outside tap and leave it open to let any water drain. This ensures there is no water in the pipes to freeze.
- Have your central heating system checked and serviced regularly. A leaking radiator valve can also cause water and damp problems.
For more information
For additional help and advice, contact Wise Property Care on 0800 65 22 678 or by filling in our online contact form.