It’s freezing outside and you’ve just seen a last minute holiday for warmer climes. You’ll save a fortune if you go now. However, if you don’t protect your home against a burst pipe you could come home to a far greater bill to sort out the damage.
According to the Association of British Insurers, during December’s record freeze and heavy snow in 2010, there were 103,000 claims for burst pipe damage.
The professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), has issued the following advice for households leaving their properties empty in freezing weather.
1. If possible, leave the heating on at a very low setting.
2. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated.
3. If you have a condensing boiler, make sure that the condensate pipework is protected against freezing.
4. If you have a cold-water cistern or water pipes in the loft, leave the loft hatch open so that warmer air will circulate.
5. Ask a friend or relative to check your home regularly if you are away for more than a few weeks.
Operations Manager Danny Davis commented, “It’s very important that you check your home insurance policy to see if there are any caveats connected to leaving your property empty in the winter. Some insurance policies state that the water from the mains must be turned off at the stop-valve. If you ignore this and you have water damage through a burst pipe, it is unlikely that they will pay out in the case of a claim.”
Ensure that any work on your plumbing or heating system is carried out by a professional. You can find a CIPHE Registered Plumber online at www.ciphe.org.uk or ring their office on 01708 472791, 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.