Tips on how to prevent a home plumbing catastrophe
Water damage in its various forms is one of the most common claim types made to home insurers in Ireland every single year. Bearing this in mind our advice as home insurers is to preempt potential problems and save yourself heart ache down the line by doing some preventative maintenance.
One of the first places you should start particularly if heading into Winter is a survey of your property both inside and out to indentify exposed pipes which could crack during sub zeros temperatures when the water they contain freezes and expands.
Avoiding frozen pipes
- Insulate all the exposed pipes you identified during your initial inventory making sure not to overlook your attic. It’s also important not to overlook the corners in your pipes.
- In advance of winter if you have any outdoor taps on your property, turn them off at the valves. Next turn on your outside taps to drain the water to eliminate all risk of any damage being done to the pipes if a big freeze kicks in.
- If a freeze does kick in, do an occasional check on your taps. Don’t however leave your taps trickling continuously as this may lead to water shortages. If your water pressure is low, it may be a sign that the water in your pipes are frozen.
- If you're due to be away during the winter ask a neighbor to check up on your house as often as possible so that any issues such as a cracked pipe can be detected sooner rather than later.
Stopping a water leak
Make sure that everybody in your house knows where to find your water mains or stop cock and how to switch it to the off position. If you have AA Home Emergency Cover it’s also a good idea to make sure that everyone in your household is aware of it and how to get in touch.
Maintain your central heating system
Your home’s central heating system should be checked and serviced regularly, preferably well in advance of winter so you’re boiler is in good working order when you need it the most. With our Boiler Cover & Repair service our tradesmen will carry out an annual boiler service plus any repairs throughout the cover period to include parts and labour up to €2000 per claim up to a maximum of 4 claims per year.
Get into the habit of putting your central heating on for at least 15 minutes once a month as this will help clear dirt and grit from the boiler pump.
If you are away at any stage during winter, set your central heating to come on for a short period each day to prevent freezing.
It’s also very important to make sure that your attic is properly insulated not only from an energy saving perspective but also to help mitigate the risks of a burst pipe. A burst pipe in your attic can lead to severe water damage and in worst case scenarios ceiling collapse so good insulate is essential.
- Apply foam insulation to all exposed pipes making sure no parts including the joints and corners are left exposed.
- Your water storage tank should also be well insulated.
- When temperatures are below zero, open your attic hatch so that the central heated air circulating through your house