Burst pipes can cause considerable damage to your property and quickly accumulate expensive repair bills.
Frozen temperatures and unprotected piping are a dangerous combination, and so it’s important that you make some important preparations to help avoid the headache of burst pipes this winter.
Here CashLady looks at what to do if you experience burst pipes, and even better, how to prevent them from freezing and bursting in the first place.
How to fix burst pipes outside your property
If you have a burst pipe outside your property boundary then contact your water company to notify them of the problem because it is their responsibility to fix it.
Find your local water company using this helpful map on the Water UK website.
How to fix burst pipes inside your home
If you have burst pipes within your property, then it is up to you to fix them and it’s important that you act fast to help reduce the damage.
First, locate your stopcock and turn off your water supply.
Before winter kicks in make sure that you familiarise yourself with your stopcock so that you know exactly what to do in case of emergency.
Most stopcocks are located under the kitchen sink and close by turning clockwise.
Unless you’re very handy, now is usually the time to call an emergency plumber, so ask friends and family for a referral if you need one, or use a website like Rated People to help make sure you use a reputable firm.
In the meantime, open all your taps to help reduce flooding and water damage to your property, and quickly soak up escaping water with thick towels.
Remember to turn off your taps once the pipes have been fixed.
How much do burst pipes cost to fix?
When your pipes burst, there are three costs that may result:
- The cost of finding and accessing the leak
- The cost of repairing the pipe, which is even higher if you need to call an emergency plumber
- The cost of the residual water damage caused by the leak from the burst pipe
Each of these costs could be covered by separate elements of your home insurance although be mindful that you may not have cover for all three as standard features of your policy.
Check your insurance documents carefully, or phone your insurance company to clarify what you are covered for.
When you don’t have insurance to cover the costs of your burst pipes
If you don’t have the relevant insurance cover you will damage, yourself.
A short-term loan
Finding spare cash during the winter isn’t always easy, particularly with the costs of Christmas around the corner.
Simply apply for the loan amount that you need to take care of the emergency repairs, and then repay it on your next payday, or according to a pre-agreed schedule that suits you.
An emergency savings fund
Ideally, try and save an emergency pot of money so that you’re covered for household emergencies in the future.
By putting a little bit of money to the side each month you will create a financial buffer, meaning you won’t have to face the additional stress of trying to find the cash to cover unexpected call out fees or repairs.
Protecting your pipes
You should also take precautions to protect your pipes and keep your home reasonably warm to reduce the chances of your pipes bursting over the winter period.
Pipes carrying water into your home are vulnerable to freezing and bursting when the temperatures drop.
If you are planning to go away over the holidays, then avoid damage to your pipes by leaving the central heating on for a few hours a day and asking a neighbour to pop by and check on things.
Ensure that water tanks are insulated and always lag your pipes. The materials are available cheaply from DIY stores and could save you lots of money in the long run.