Preventing and Detecting Leaks
Posted on 4th October 2023 at 16:43
Home insurance can be a lifesaver when it comes to dealing with unexpected household issues.
According to data from Ofwat, water leakage in England and Wales reached more than 1 trillion litres in 2021-22. Water firms in England and Wales lost on average more than 2,900 million litres of water every day in the period 2021-22.
Detecting a leak in your home is crucial, and there are telltale signs to watch out for, such as: sudden loss of water pressure, mysterious puddles, or damp patches on floors, walls, or ceilings. However, sometimes leaks manifest as more severe issues like bulging ceilings or flooding. Acting swiftly is essential to prevent further damage and potential health hazards like mould growth. Mould can appear within 24-48 hours in warm, humid conditions and can release harmful spores within three days. If you suspect or find a leak, we recommend that you:
Locate and turn off the stopcock to halt the water supply.
Run your taps to empty the system of water.
Contact your insurer immediately, providing details of the leak's source and location.
Most insurers offer 24/7 assistance, with round-the-clock claims lines to provide guidance and advice, ensuring you receive timely assistance. In case you can't reach your insurer, follow the recommended steps and consider contacting a plumber, but be sure to keep all related receipts and invoices.
How Can I Detect Hidden Leaks?
One way to detect hidden leaks is by checking your water meter. Note the meter reading, then turn off your home's water supply for at least 30 minutes before rechecking the meter. Any change in the reading may indicate a leak, warranting a call to your insurer, water supplier, or plumber. Even slow drips should not be ignored, as they can lead to more significant issues like structural damage.
To prevent leaks, regular maintenance is key. Ensure your home is well-maintained, including your plumbing and central heating systems. Annual services by qualified professionals can also help identify and address potential issues before they escalate, ultimately saving you from costly damage and inconvenience. Additionally, during cold weather, keep your heating on low, insulate your pipes, and consider using water leak detectors, which can provide early warnings and even connect to your smartphone for real-time notifications.
Can I Get Insurance Cover for Leaks?
Your insurance will typically cover the cost of the damage and may provide dehumidifiers and compensate for increased utility bills during the repair process. However, it's essential to address issues promptly, as gradual damage, such as damp, may not be covered. Preventing damp involves routine maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, maintaining brickwork, proper ventilation, and minimising moisture build-up caused by indoor clothes drying, showers and cooking.
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