burst pipes
21 December 2023

Insurance advice, when water turns to ice

Winter Tips to Prevent Burst Pipes

As winter sets in, the often underestimated threat of burst pipes becomes a recurring challenge for property owners. At Unity, we understand the consequences of water damage all too well, dealing with numerous claims each year. In this blog, we'll share practical tips to help you safeguard your property from the perils of frozen pipes, emphasizing the importance of prevention over cure.

Prepare Your Premises: A proactive approach to maintenance can make a world of difference. Here are some simple steps to protect your plumbing:

  1. Regular Boiler and Heating System Servicing: Schedule routine services to ensure your heating system is in top-notch condition.
  2. Thermostat Check: Verify that your thermostat is functioning correctly to maintain optimal temperatures.  It’s suggested to maintain a minimum temperature of 13°C/55°F.
  3. Insulation Inspection: Examine the insulation around water pipes and the cold-water tank.
  4. Exterior Precautions: Turn off external taps and disconnect hoses when freezing weather is forecasted.
  5. Know Your Stopcock: Ensure all personnel are aware of the location of the stopcock for swift action if needed.

Going Somewhere? If your property will be unattended during winter, take additional precautions:

  1. Keep Heating On: Maintain a low-level heating to prevent pipes from freezing. Adjust the temperature higher if extremely cold weather is predicted.
  2. Extended Absence: If the property will be vacant for an extended period, consider draining and shutting off the water system.

Catch It Before It Cracks: If you discover frozen pipes, act promptly to minimize damage:

  1. Turn off the Water Supply: Shut off the water supply immediately.
  2. Gradual Thawing: Gently thaw the affected pipe by restoring the property to its normal temperature.  Avoid using a blow torch or open flame for rapid thawing.

If a pipe bursts despite your efforts, swift action is crucial:

  1. Turn off the Water Supply: Shut off the water supply at the stopcock.
  2. Electronics Safety: Avoid touching electronics that may have been exposed to water.
  3. Professional Inspection: Call an electrician to ensure it's safe to use power again.

Understand your insurance.  Know how to make a claim.

For more information on winter-proofing your premises, contact an Account Handler at 0333 188 0155.

By taking these preventative measures and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of burst pipes and the potential damage they may cause.

Unity is here to support you and your property against the winter chill.