A result of repeated pressure, pipes are prone to bursting after a continual period of freezing and expansion.
Commonly occurring during winter, there are several measures you can take to protect your pipes in cold weather.
If a pipe in your home freezes and then bursts, there are several things you can do to limit the damage to your home and possessions:
Turn off your water
Disable the water supply by turning off the internal stop tap, usually located under the kitchen sink, and if you have a cold water tank, the stopcock.
Switch off your heating and electricity
Make sure that your central heating is switched off. As a precaution you should also turn off your electricity at the mains.
If for any reason your mains switch appears to be wet, contact your local electrician and do not touch it yourself.
Drain your system
Turn on all of your hot and cold taps and flush your toilets to ensure there’s no water left within the system.
Collect the water
To help prevent flooding within your home, ensure you collect the water that’s leaking. Whether you use porous materials to collect the drops or buckets to catch a steady stream, be cautious of any water that leaks from your ceilings.
If the ceiling starts to swell do not stand directly beneath it. Instead find something long and sharp that you can use to pierce the plaster, such as a broom or mop handle or a long screwdriver.
Check your insurance policy
If you have certain insurance policies to protect your home, burst pipes may be covered. As soon as you possibly can, check to see what your options are, as alternative accommodation and the cost of repairs may be covered.
While it’s tempting to clear up and throw away damaged items, hold on to them in case they’re needed as evidence to support your insurance claim at a later date.
Open your doors and windows
To help dry out your home, open as many doors and windows as possible. Once you‘ve rebooted your heating and electricity supply keep your heating on for as long as it’s practical to do so and consider hiring a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.
Repair the leak
Best left to a qualified professional contact your local plumbing engineer who’ll repair the damage for you.