Leak prevention tips
Water leaks in your home can be really unpleasant, cause significant damage to your home and stuff, and take a long time to repair. We often see leaks during periods of cold weather when frozen pipes burst. Here’s some simple steps you can take to prevent water leaks in your home.
Know where your stopcock is
A stopcock is a control tap for water from the mains supply into your home. Typically homes have one external stopcock (usually located close to the street outside of your home), and one internal stopcock where the underground water pipe enters your home. If there’s a leak, you’ll want to stop water flow from the mains. The internal stopcock’s often found under the kitchen sink, but it’s worth checking - so you can turn the water off quickly if there’s a leak!
Keep your central heating on, even if you’re going away in the winter
Keep your heating on low when you're on holiday or even if you’re away in the winter for a few days. Cold weather can cause water pipes to freeze and burst.
If you prefer to turn your heating off when you go away, the best way to avoid burst pipes is to switch off the water at the stopcock and drain water from the system (aka running your water taps until the water dries up).
Check your water pipes and tanks in attic or roof spaces are properly insulated
Exposure to cold temperatures makes pipes more likely to freeze and burst. To help prevent a leak caused by a burst pipe in the attic, where water can end up pouring down through ceilings, make sure the pipes are wrapped in insulation. If you're not sure how to do this, a professional plumber can help.
If you think there’s a leak, address it quickly!
If you notice a leak, it's important to address it as soon as possible. Water will damage your home and stuff, and cause rot or mould if not allowed to dry. If the leak is a water pipe (not part of the heating system) you can turn the stopcock off to stop the flow of water. If the leak is from your heating system, it’s worth checking with a professional about the next steps.
If you want to claim on your home insurance, make sure you submit it quickly.
Inspect your appliances
Wear and tear, cracks or loose connections can all lead to leaks from appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. It’s also worth looking for signs of water damage in your home, like water stains, wet spots, or mould, as these are signs that you could have a leak and should investigate further.
Invest in leak detection technology
Installing tech, like leak detectors or humidity sensors, to detect leaks early means you can be alerted and jump into action before a leak causes significant damage
A few final tips…
No one wants to experience a water leak in their home, but there’s a few things you can do to help
- Prevention is important - keep the heating on low in winter even if you’re going away and make sure water pipes exposed to cold temperatures are insulated.
- If there’s a leak, address it as soon as possible!
- Check your appliances for potential leaks or signs of wear and tear
Urban Jungle is not a financial advisor and information in this article should not be taken as advice or recommendation.