Frost damage – some tips to help avoid the headache and expense of a home insurance claim this winter

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A cold spell could result in frost penetration deep into the ground causing many householders to experience frozen water pipes and associated problems of burst pipes and water damage. It is important to protect your home particularly if you are going to be away or have a second home that may be vacant for a period during the cold snap.

Aviva released some helpful tips to prevent frost damage and we have outlined some of these tips as follows:

– Wrap a towel around an outside tap.
– Open the attic trap door to allow heat into the attic.
– Leave a light on in the attic to generate heat.
– Place a piece of insulation such as some carpet over your external stopcock.
– If you are away, leave your heating on a timer to prevent frost damage to water pipes.
– Ask a friend to check the house on a daily basis while you are away.
– Make sure the whole family know what to do if a burst pipe causes a flood.

When the thaw does set in, some of the frozen pipes could potentially burst causing a leak and water damage to your home. To prevent and limit damage caused by burst pipes, you should find out where the stopcock is located, ensure there is access to the stopcock and know how to turn off the water supply to the house. Early action to turn off water will reduce the potential for damage, particularly from burst pipes in the attic.

What to do if pipes burst as the thaw comes:

– Turn off your gas, water and electricity supplies.
– Move as many items from the affected area to limit the damage.
– Move vulnerable and particularly sentimental items to a safe dry place. Remember that items like photographs or family videos may have little financial value but they are irreplaceable to you. This also applies to personal documents and address and phone books. Sealing these in waterproof plastic bags is a simple and practical measure.
– Unplug and remove all electrical items in the affected area.
– Do not reconnect your services until an accredited engineer has checked them.
– Dry out appliances affected by water and get a qualified electrician, gas engineer or plumber to inspect them before you use them.
– Lift water-damaged carpets to allow the floor to dry out but don’t throw them out.
-Use a low heat to gently dry things out – using too much heat too quickly can cause further damage.
– Take care not to use electrical sources of heat near water
– Do not throw anything out. A claims adviser will need to assess damage to your belongings.
– Contact Martin Insurance to access a panel of specialist home & property insurance providers.

If you would like a home insurance quotation, please call us on 049-4332944, e-mail or complete our online enquiry form.

Disclaimer: The material contained is this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

James Martin
James Martin
James Martin has 16 years of experience as a general insurance broker. He is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and has completed a Diploma in Corporate Finance.

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