9 tips for avoiding burst pipes

By keeping the heating on and you, your employees and any visitors to your business warm, you’re also doing your water system a favour by preventing it from freezing when the chill sets in.

But what about when you close for Christmas? Rather than leaving pipes open to the elements, there are measures you can take to ensure you don’t come back to three inches of water, no matter how cold it gets:

  1. Lag pipes and insulate water tanks, making sure there are no gaps. You can pick up particular material from most DIY shops.
  2. Turn your attention to any drips, as even a small leak can cause a freeze.
  3. Run your cold water regularly in cold weather.
  4. Leave your loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate any pipes or water tanks in the attic.
  5. Leave your heating on low when you’ve locked up for a week or two.
  6. If you haven’t had your boiler checked recently, get it serviced.
  7. If you’re elsewhere over Christmas, consider leaving a key with a trusted member of staff and tell them where the stopcock is in case there’s a flood.
  8. Minimise drafts where possible and shut off unheated parts of the property, such as a garage, so they’re not bringing the overall temperature down.
  9. If your premise is going to stand empty for some time in winter, think about turning the water off altogether and draining the system, so there’s no water left to freeze.

What to do if your pipes do freeze
Turn off the stopcock and check the pipe hasn’t burst. If it has, you’ll need to turn on all the taps to stem the flood and call a plumber. A frozen pipe should be thawed using a hot water bottle, a towel soaked in warm water or a hairdryer. Never use a naked flame.

Burst pipes and insurance
Emergency cover and trace and access are useful features to have in this scenario, but there may be exclusions if you’ve been expected to take preventative measures. The experts at Hine Chartered Insurance brokers are always happy to take a look at your business insurance to see whether or not it protects your building against the effects of a burst pipe through your insurance policy.

Call 0161 438 0000 or email info@hine.co.uk.

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