Protect your pipes from freezing weather

17th November, 2015

Every day, members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) pay out £2.5 million to ‘escape of water’ claims – many due to pipes freezing or bursting in the winter months. A significant amount of this damage and inconvenience could be avoided with simple preventative measures, and this winter it’s more important than ever to be alert. During the winter of 2010, which saw the UK’s coldest December since records began, insurers handled 3,500 claims for burst pipe damage every day. This winter could be even colder. According to the ABI, the average insurance claim for a burst water pipe is from £6,500 to £7,500 – so take these simple steps and don’t be one of the thousands left with the misery of freezing pipes this winter.

Why Pipes Freeze and Burst
Pipes freeze when they become too cold – normally because they haven’t been properly insulated, are inside cupboards, or are exposed to draughts. When water freezes, it expands inside your pipes. The build-up of pressure between the ice blockage and the faucet eventually causes the pipe to burst.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Keeping water flowing through your pipes this winter is surprisingly cheap and easy. Try these simple techniques to prevent your property from damage:

  • Pipe insulation.
    Wrap your pipes in lagging (an insulating foam material), especially if they are outside, in a loft space, or inside a cupboard.
  • Locate your stop tap.
    Speaking to the Eastbourne Herald, Steve Andrews, head of service management at South East Water, said, “It is amazing how many people who contact us about a burst water pipe in the home have no idea where their stop tap is. It is essential that everyone finds the stop tap now and checks it is working as being able to turn it off in an emergency will instantly stop water from doing any more damage.”
  • Remember maintenance.
    Now is the time to re-washer any dripping taps, which could freeze and block your pipes.
  • Don’t forget your pipes if you are going away.
    In the cold weather, leave your heating on low if you’re going away for more than a few days to prevent your pipes from becoming frozen when they’re not being used. It’s also a good idea to ask a friend to check your pipes while you’re away.

The Consumer Council for Water’s 2014 research found that over half of all households in England and Wales did not protect their pipes from freezing last winter. However, preventing frozen pipes is a simple but important task to carry out before the worst of the cold weather hits. Now is a great time to get winter ready, and at Ice Watch we’re already well prepared. To find out how we can help protect your business from the winter weather, call us on 01728 633900.

prevent freezing pipes this winter

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