09 Jan Freezing Pipes, Burst Pipes and Water Damage
UK winter can be harsh with lots of rain and below zero temperatures. These kind of weather conditions can be harsh on your car and your body, but also your home.
Frozen pipes in your home can cause a lot of problems. When pipes freeze, the water flow is blocked, which can cause leaks and even burst pipes.
Leaks and burst pipes can cause flooding and will lead to water damage. The longer a leak or burst goes undetected, the more likely it will be that your house suffers significant damage.
Some pipes around the house are more likely to freeze than others, these include:
• Pipes in outside walls.
• Exposed pipes in areas of the house that are not heated.
• Pipes on the outside of the house.
The best way to avoid water damage from freezing pipes is by taking preventative measures before and during winter.
Preventative Measures Outside the Home
Something as simple as a frozen garden hose can cause significant damage to your home. A frozen hose will put increasing pressure on your entire plumbing system. This can cause an inside pipe to burst. Before winter, make sure that you disconnect and drain any garden hoses.
If your outside taps are not frost-proof, you should close their shut-off valve and drain the tap. Then fit them with a tap insulator.
Exposed Indoor Pipes
Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the house (such as attics, garages, etc.) should be insulated to prevent freezing. For UK weather, inexpensive foam insulation should be sufficient.
Potentially Under-insulated Pipes
If you’ve had water damage from frozen pipes before, but haven’t dealt with the problem yet, or weren’t aware of it, it is probably worth it to open up the wall and install new or extra insulation. Signs of frozen pipes include mould and moisture build-up in the area around the pipe.
Tips for During Your Winter Getaway
If you are leaving your home for an extended time during winter, you should take a few extra measures to prevent returning to a water-damaged home.