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Has your property suffered from water damage following a burst water pipe? Has bad weather led to your pipes freezing or bursting? Due to the seriousness of water damage and dampness to your home, this is deemed a water emergency. But, would you know what steps to take if this happens and who to contact for help?

Check out our helpful tips and steps guides below for those looking to prepare, or fr thiose unfortunate individuals that may have burst or frozen pipes right now.

Advice For Homeowners

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Advice For PCA Members

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Steps to Take following a Burst Water Pipe

There is no denying that if a water pipe bursts, the likelihood is that unfortunately there will be damage to your home/property. If the water comes through the ceiling it can be complicated to fix and cause extensive damage to floorboards, timber beams etc. To help minimise the damage, follow the steps outlined below:

1. Water Supply – Turn it off

  • Find your main stop tap and turn it off. Generally, this will be located where the service pipe comes into the property, i.e. under the kitchen sink/downstairs toilet
  • All cold taps will need to be turned on to drain the system
  • Catch any water dripping from the ceiling into a bucket – If a bulge appears in the ceiling, make a hole to let water out

2. Water heating system – Turn it off

  • Switch off the water heating systems – central heating, immersion heater etc
  • Let any solid fuel systems die out
  • As soon as the water heating has shut down, turn on your hot taps to help drain the system

3. Electrics must be turned off!

  • Electrics and electrical wiring must be handled with caution. If water has leaked near to any electrics, THEY MUST BE SWITCHED OFF IMMEDIATELY. If they are wet, do not touch them. Call a professional to repair the damage.

4. Floorboards and Timber Beams/Ceiling needs to be checked for damage

  • If your property has been leaking water for some time, you will need to check the floors, timber beams/ceiling for water damage. Always proceed with caution as floors can be unsafe to stand on following water damage.
  • A damp and timber specialist will be able to carry out a property survey to assess the timber for damage caused by the leak, such as wet or dry rot.

Tips to help prevent Water Pipes from Bursting

There is no guarantee that water pipes within your home/property will not burst.  However, that does not mean there is not anything you can do to help minimise the risk of the water pipes bursting. To help you prevent it from happening, check out some of the tips below:

  • Install loft insulation.  Help keep heat within your property and within your loftspace.
  • Insulate the sides of your water tank and all water pipes.
  • On colder days, open the loft hatch/door to let heat in.
  • Ensure you can turn your stop tap off easily – and you know where it is in an emergency!
  • Ask for help to check your pipes if you are vacant from the property over the winter months to make sure they have not frozen or burst
  • If you have a tap dripping, replace the washer in the tap. Washers are very cheap to replace and should help to prevent the pipe freezing by stopping exposed water from freezing & potentially blocking the pipe. It will also save up to a litre of water a day and your money if it is a hot tap
  • Ensure you set your heating to be on low/set to come on a couple of times a day when the weather is very cold – especially if you go away. Modern boilers have a frost protection thermostat that turns on automatically if the temperature drops to a level that will cause your pipes to freeze.

Finding the right tradespeople to help

If it is the case you are a little unsure about what to do and who to turn to for help, that’s not a problem and completely understandable.

Firstly, get in touch with a plumber.  If need be, get an emergency plumber out.  An emergency plumber should be able to stop the water from causing anymore damage to your property and should be able to make the necessary repairs to the water pipes prior to any further repairs.

Secondary, and depending on the level of water damage, we would suggest you speak organise for a damp and timber specialist to check over your property. An experienced & qualified professional will be able to undertake a property-level survey, which will involve a physical survey to assess the affected areas and will provide you with a report with their findings. Hopefully, there is no impact from the damage however, it is always best to check.  To find a damp or timber specialist local to you, simply run a search using the search box below.

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