With the onset of yet another early freeze, there are a few simple precautions that can be taken to ensure the continued well-being of your home or any other property.
One of the largest dangers that exist during the winter weather is burst water pipes. This happens when the water freezes within the pipe, expands thus damaging it and causing an escape when the water thaws.
The following steps should be taken to ensure that the property and its contents are not seriously damaged due to an escape of water:
· Ensure that pipes and water tanks are well-lagged. Unlagged pipes are far more likely to freeze in sub-zero temperatures. Insulation materials and lagging are relatively inexpensive and will frequently cost less than the policy excess charged by your insurer in the event of a claim.
· If the property is unoccupied, even a relatively small leak if undiscovered, can cause catastrophic damage. If this is the situation, the water system can either be drained or if thermostatically controlled, the heating system should be left to operate at a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.
· If there is a gravity fed water or heating system, one vulnerable area may be the tank in the loft space. This is because the insulation on the loft floor may prevent the warmth of the house penetrating through increasing the likelihood of an escape of water. In these circumstances, if the premises are unoccupied, it is best to drain the water system. Alternatively, if the heating is left in operation, to ensure that some warmth circulates in the loft space, the loft hatch should be left open.
Depending upon your cover, a claim for escape of water may not be insured. If the property is vacant, there will also be additional conditions expressly stated within the policy or schedule that need to be complied with.
If you are in any doubt as to your cover or action required, contact us on 020 8943 5333.
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