Taking effective measures to protect your home against water damage is essential. Insurers may not pay out if you attempt to claim for damage which could have been prevented with due diligence. This is, of course, dependent on the wording in your insurance policy. With this in mind, it’s best to properly prepare your home against avoidable water damage in advance and take immediate measures if you notice a problem.

The risks
If a standard ¾” water line in a house bursts, it can fill a home with the same amount of water as would fill a backyard pool in as little as 24 hours. High net worth properties often have larger water lines, ranging between 1”and 2” inches, which would mean the impact of a leak could be much more significant in a shorter period of time.

Water damage can put your contents at risk and may result in damage to wine/art collections, designer wardrobes, antiques, exotic floors and luxury furnishings. You may also find that you need to find temporary accommodation in the meantime whilst the damage is being repaired.

You could even find yourself the subject of a liability claim if your water leak affects your neighbour’s home due to your negligence. So you’d be responsible for covering the cost of the damage to their home, a figure which could potentially run into thousands of pounds.

The signs
Look out for the following signs of water damage in your home:

  • Odour of decay or mildew
  • Noises in your plumbing – rushing, stuttering or pinging
  • Unexplained damp areas
  • Sediment or rust in running water
  • Reduced water pressure
  • Higher than usual water bills

The solutions

Reduce the freezing of pipes

In extreme weather, your pipes are at risk of freezing. This is particularly prevalent in unheated areas such as garages, basements, attics and seldom-used rooms in older estate buildings and castles.

To reduce this risk, try the following measures:

  • Let cold water drip from a faucet
  • Keep your garage closed
  • Open kitchen doors
  • Keep heat on at the same temperature over winter
  • Add insulation where necessary

To thaw a frozen pipe, try wrapping the affected pipe in hot towels or apply heat in some other way, whilst avoiding any use of direct flames. If the pipe remains frozen, you should call a plumber to thaw the pipe professionally.

Leaks and appliance failure

Pinhole leaks, burst pipes and appliance failures aren’t easy to prepare for, so it’s not surprising that they contribute to the majority of water damage insurance claims. If you leave your house vacant for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to manually cut off your water supply, or ask a friend or family member to ‘sit’ for your home whilst you’re away.

If you do notice a leaking pipe, immediately arrange a repair for the leak, no matter how small. The leak can quickly amplify and turn into a much bigger problem if you leave it.

Water security systems

There are a number of water security systems available but they’re often underutilised, which is surprising given the statistics surrounding water damage. These systems are able to monitor your water flow for leaks and detect water on the floor with moisture sensors. They use alarms to then alert the homeowner if they detect anything untoward.

Insurance

We can’t protect our homes against every eventuality, which is where insurance can step in if something does go wrong and your home is victim to the aftermath of an unforeseen water leak. At Finch Group we can arrange a policy for you which will cover the cost of the damage. Call us today at 0118 969 8855 or email privateclients@finchgroup.net

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