With such freezing temperatures across the UK, homeowners are being urged to check for leaks from burst pipes as they may not be apparent until the weather warms.
Austyn Tusler, home insurance expert at Hiscox, comments: “Unchecked, a leak can quickly turn into large amounts of water gushing into attics or lofts, damaging the structure, electrical wiring and belongings.
Catching leaks early can prevent water damage and save homeowners time and money as well as the emotional stress of experiencing loss or damage to personal belongings.”
Sub zero temperatures can result in pipes freezing and homeowners could be unaware that they have burst pipes until the thaw when water begins to leak into their property.
To spot a burst pipe firstly look for damp patches on ceilings and walls. If you turn on the tap and no water comes out, it’s best not to take chances, call a plumber and turn off the water supply
You should check exposed pipes for signs of damage remembering that a leak will not occur until the water has thawed. Also inspect the loft and any isolated areas that may not be as well insulated.
If you are going away for an longer period with your property unattended, make sure you have someone who can check on your home regularly
If you do discover a burst or damaged pipe turn off the water supply at the main water tap (or valve), and turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank if you have one. Also if water has leaked near electrics or electrical appliances, switch off the mains immediately and don’t touch any areas that are damp.
Contact your home insurance provider to let them know about the damage within the time specified in your insurance policy.
Ring a tradesperson, although first check with your insurer on whether they have a panel of approved tradespeople to use.
Find out more on information on protecting your home on the Hiscox website.