We can anticipate many more frigid winters if prior years are any indication. And that might cause issues for our pipelines and, ultimately, for our homes.
Frozen pipes occur when the water inside them freezes due to cold temperatures, causing expansion and increased pressure. The pressure build-up can lead to a pipe rupture or burst, resulting in water leakage once the ice thaws. Burst pipes can cause significant damage to your property, including water damage, structural issues, and mould growth.
Not only can they prevent the normal operation of your heating and hot water, but they can also break and leak or even flood. Therefore, if you suspect that your pipes have frozen over, you must act swiftly to limit further damage.
How to Handle Frozen Pipes
Don’t panic if you believe you have a frozen pipe. You can prevent it from bursting and spare yourself the headache of a leak or flood by taking a few simple steps.
Watch out for the cautionary signal:
- your boiler won’t come on
- your central heating makes gurgling noises when it’s on
- only a trickle or no water is coming out of your faucets
Locate The Iced Pipe
First things first, you must identify the frozen pipe. It will probably be your condensate pipe if you have a contemporary condensing boiler. This will be a plastic one.
Defrost The Pipe
Once you’ve identified the problem, you’ll need to defrost it in order to restore flow. Pour warm water over the frozen pipe—but never boiling water—and cover it with a hot water bottle to help the ice melt.
Locating A Ruptured Pipe
A kitchen flooded with water might not be as visible as a burst pipe. You might have a gradual leak that, if left unchecked, might harm your house and electrics just as severely.
Here’s how to recognise them:
- trouble with your water flow or problems with your water pressure
- Your walls or ceiling may have water stains or spots.
- wall or ceiling sagging
How To Handle A Leak Or A Flood
Immediately turn off the water supply. To turn off your water supply, turn the stopcock valve, then wait to turn it back on until a plumber has corrected the problem. If you’re unsure of where your stopcock is, consider looking in a cabinet or beneath the kitchen sink. You might even find one outside.
You must locate and get in touch with your water provider if the leak is coming from outside your house and you are unable to shut off the water supply.
On All Of The Faucets
So that the water may drain from the pipes without doing too much harm, you must immediately remove all of the water from them. Let the water run out fully until there is nothing left, then turn them all off.
Whenever Water Leaks, Blot It Up
Get a couple old towels and soak up any water that has leaked from the busted pipe to reduce the damage. Furthermore, if there is standing water within your house, your insurance provider will advise you on what to do next. But we’ll return to that in a moment.
Secure Your Electrical Systems
Turn off the power at the mains if there’s a danger that any electrics may have become wet. Before turning them back on, let them thoroughly dry up and have an electrician check them out.
Contact Your Home Insurance Provider
Call your insurer as soon as you can. The majority of companies have a 24-hour emergency service. Find the receipts for any damaged items and take pictures of any damage. Your insurer will then direct you as to what to do next.
Contact A Licenced Plumber
Always hire a completely licenced plumber to handle repairs; else, you can end up spending more time and money overall. A current list of registered emergency plumbers in your area is available on water.org.uk.
While you wait, you can make a quick fix by securely taping the pipe with cloth or strong tape. Though it won’t survive very long, resist the urge to attempt this in place of a professional repair.
Cleaning Up Following
The amount of water that has leaked determines the size of the clean-up project. After that, they will handle drying out and fixing your house and its belongings. Move everything away from the danger zone in the interim to limit further harm.
You can attempt to clean up the mess yourself if the leak isn’t too bad. If you want to file a claim, make sure you don’t discard any damaged objects before taking pictures of them. When filing a claim, having proof of purchase, images, and any serial numbers will be helpful.
Protecting your home from the threat of frozen and burst pipes during winter is essential to avoid costly damage and stressful situations. By taking preventive measures and knowing how to handle these issues if they arise, you can safeguard your property and maintain your peace of mind throughout the cold months. Remember, proper insulation, maintaining indoor temperatures, and acting promptly in the face of frozen or burst pipes are key to a worry-free winter season.