Don’t get caught out in the cold: tips to prevent burst and frozen pipes

26 November 2018

  • 86% more claims for ‘escape of water’ during 2018 ‘Beast from the East’ versus same month in 2017
  • 1,536 claims in March 2018 versus 824 in March 2017

The ‘Beast from the East’ contributed to 86%1 more ‘escape of water’ claims in March 2018 versus the same month last year, as a spike in frozen and burst pipes coincided with the extreme weather.

Figures from Halifax Home Insurance reveal that 1,536 claims were received during the snow storm versus 824 in March 2017.

As winter approaches, Halifax Home Insurance is reminding homeowners to take the right measures to prepare their home against the cold weather and avoid potential disruption.

Tim Downes, Senior Claims Manager at Halifax Home Insurance, said: “A burst pipe can be extremely stressful - especially if it happens at night or at the weekend, making it harder to track down an emergency plumber who can help get the house back to normal.

“These claims are more likely to happen during the winter due to pipes freezing and then bursting during the colder weather. Prevention is definitely better than the cure, so following our top tips are a good way to get ready for winter.”

Top tips to prevent burst and frozen pipes…

  1. Set your thermostat to a      minimum temperature around 12°C, even overnight –      the heating costs are justified if it avoids a costly pipe freeze. Many      thermostats have a winter option that routinely heats the system to keep      pipes at the right temperature.
  2. Insulate      exposed pipes in basements, attics, garages,      kitchen cabinets and on the outside of the house. Use UL-listed heat tape      or foam rubber insulation where pipes are exposed to cold moving air.
  3. If      you’re going on holiday it might be worth shutting off      and draining your water system (ask your provider for information on how      to do this) or asking a neighbour to visit while you’re away to check for      any leaks in the house.

And should the worst happen…

  1. Turn off the main water supply at      the stopcock - it’s      worth checking you know where this is located.
  2. Turn off your electricity      supply, and avoid      all electrical appliances.
  3. Take photos of the damage – this will help support your      claim.
  4. Be      sure to have your home insurance details to hand Halifax      Home Insurance can provide customers with useful information, such as the      number for a reputable plumber, through its 24-hour Emergency Homeline.