According to The Association of British Insurers (ABI), burst pipes are more common in freezing weather. They can also be catastrophic and cause untold damage, not to mention the inconvenience they cause. If you suspect your pipes have frozen and are concerned about an imminent rupture, read on this week as we look at how to tackle this winter worry.
Why Frozen Pipes Can Burst
Pipes can freeze for many reasons, however, there are some helpful measures you can take. Check out this post to learn how to prevent a frozen condensate pipe. As water freezes, it tends to expand which can put immense pressure on pipework. This then causes pipes to buckle and split which can lead to a section of it actually bursting! Other causes of burst pipes might be down to age, corrosion, or accidental damage. These, however, are trickier to prevent but thankfully they are less common.
Spotting a Burst Pipe
Sometimes burst pipes aren’t that obvious – unless your kitchen is full of water! You may have a slow leak which is harder to spot but the consquences can still be quite major. Left to its own devices a slow leaking pipe can ruin electrics and your properties structure. Some things to look out for are damp patches on walls and persistent water pressure issues.
What to Do if You Have a Leak or a Flood
If you suspect a bad leak or you have an actual flood quickly turn off your water supply! Your stopcock valve will shut off the water and can be usually found under the sink. You’ll also need to switch off your central heating and open the taps to completely drain the system. Allow the water to drain until there’s none left then close all of the taps again. If you’re concerned anything electrical has come into contact with water, turn the mains power off right away. You should also be aware of any appliances it may have affected and have them checked by an electrician before using again. Next, you should call an emergency plumber before speaking to your insurance. In the meantime, heavy-duty tape will be a makeshift repair whilst you wait for the cavalry to arrive.
Cleaning Up After a Burst Pipe
What happens now depends how severe the leak or flood actually was. If it wasn’t too bad you can try to clear up yourself, just remember to document any damaged items before removing. At the same time, you should also move any belongings out of harm’s way to prevent any further damage. Insurance policies also differ so it’s best to find out where you stand with burst pipe claims in advance.
Thank you for reading this week’s post which looks at burst pipes in winter. If your taps aren’t producing much water or the boiler won’t switch on, there’s likely a frost problem with your pipework. If this is the case you could try and thaw the affected section with boiling water but if you’re still having no joy, please get in touch with a member of our heating team. Thanks again.