With temperatures set to plummet across many parts of the country this week, households are being warned they could pay a high price for giving their home’s pipes the cold shoulder.
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is concerned that less than half of households in England and Wales are likely to have taken steps to make sure their property’s water pipes are protected from the threat of freezing weather.
That means millions of homes could be at risk of seeing a pipe freeze or burst, leaving them without tap water and an average insurance claim of £6,500 to £7,500 to clear up the mess.
Alan Lovell, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said:
“Burst pipes can cause devastating damage to our homes, which is why prevention is so important.”
“Lagging exposed water wipes is a simple and relatively cheap way of giving you peace of mind, no matter how cold things get this winter.”
Even if you live in a rented property it is worth investigating whether they have been lagged by the landlord, as a burst pipe could end up wrecking your possessions.
Here are our six simple steps to reduce the risk of a pipe freezing:
- Get your pipes and water tanks insulated – visit your local DIY store or shop on line for a variety of products, such as lagging, that can help.
- Find your stop tap – being able to turn the water off quickly could save a lot of damage.
- Insulate outside taps or turn them off at the stop tap and drain the water from them.
- Fix any dripping taps or overflows. A build-up of ice can cause a blockage.
- Get contact details of a good plumber – if you do have a problem you will want a professional on hand as quickly as possible. You can check the WaterSafe website for a list of registered plumbers.
- If you go away for a few days, leave your heating on low and set it to come on at least once every day.
For more advice on how to stay warm and safe this winter visit the Met Office’s Get ready for winter website
For more information call the CCWater media team on 0121 345 1005.