What causes pipes to burst, and how can you prevent it?
Water damage often occurs unexpectedly and is often difficult to repair without causing disruption to your home or business. Burst pipes are the most common cause of property water damage. It can cause extensive problems such as collapsed plaster ceilings, damaged floors and walls or built-in units, carpets, and so on, all of which can be very costly to repair or replace. It’s important to understand what causes burst pipes, how to avoid them, how to spot them in your home, and how to deal with the aftermath.
What causes pipes to burst?
The most common cause of burst pipes is a temperature drop, which causes the water inside your home’s pipes to freeze. When water freezes, it expands and puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your pipes. As a result, they can crack or burst open. When the frozen water inside the pipes thaws and turns back to liquid, it escapes.
How can I keep my pipes from freezing?
It is less expensive to prevent frozen pipes than to repair burst pipes. Attempt the following steps:
- Make sure your pipes are insulated – All visible pipes, especially those in unheated areas like attics, outbuildings, and underfloor spaces should be lagged with pre-formed foam.
- Fix any leaking/dripping taps – Even a small trickle of water can cause your pipes to freeze and burst. If you’re leaving your home for long periods of time, consider leaving your heating on low or turning off the water supply at the stopcock and draining the system.
- Keep your home warm – when it’s freezing out keeping your home at or above 5 degrees Celsius can help to prevent pipes from freezing
What to do if your pipes burst?
- Act quickly. Turn off the water supply to the property, this will minimise the amount of water that escapes and damages your property. Contact a plumber immediately.
- Turn on all cold taps and flush all the toilets in your home to drain your pipe system.
- Switch off your central heating and immersion. If you use solid fuel, let the fire die out
- If any sockets, switches, or appliances are exposed to the leak turn off electrical mains if it is safe to do so and call your electrician.
Claiming on your insurance for burst pipes
Insurance policies cover damage caused by water escaping from any fixed water apparatus, as long as the property is not left unattended for more than 30 days. Some policies exclude the cost of plumbing repairs due to wear and tear but cover subsequent water damage. The ‘burst’ in a freeze-up is a sudden and unexpected event, so the plumbing repair costs should be covered. Check your policy for specifics or contact us for assistance.
CMG will assess the damage quickly and thoroughly document the claim. We will provide you with a detailed estimate of the loss and damage to buildings and contents, saving you time, money, and hassle.
We provide professional advice with no obligation after a free initial consultation and site visit to assess your loss or damage. ‘Contact us,’ and one of our experienced Property Claims Consultants will meet with you to discuss the issues and see how we can assist you with your claim.
If you have suffered from burst pipe damage, Claim Management Group can assist you by removing the stress and inconvenience of filing a claim for burst pipe repair. We negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you get the highest possible settlement under the terms of your policy from your insurance company.