Christmas may be over but the cold weather is only just beginning. January, February and March have become increasingly colder over the past few years and 2018 is set to be no different.

In 2016, cold temperatures led to a rise in claims for flooded buildings from burst pipes or tanks, yet businesses still forget that freezing and burst pipes can be a real issue. When the temperature reaches freezing, any water in the pipes turns to ice. The ice expands, causing pressure on the pipes and as a result, bursts the pipe.

Here are some top tips to help prevent your business from facing a burst pipe as the temperatures plummet.

Spot the signs

The thaw is the threat! If you’re planning on a new year holiday for some winter sun, make sure someone is able to check the premises on a regular basis in order to spot potential leaks sooner rather than later. The best time to find leaks is as the temperatures begin to rise again. The last thing you want is to come back to an office that has had an untreated leak for a week…

Harmonise the heating

It might be tempting to turn off the central heating overnight whilst your premise is empty, to save on the cost of heating, but it’s crucial to keep it on a low setting to ensure that warm air can circulate throughout the premises to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. The cost of keeping the heating on low overnight, is much more efficient than the cost of a burst pipe. Although damage caused by freezing water and leaking or “escaping” water from tanks, pipes or heating systems may be covered as standard under building insurance, this does not take into consideration the cost of losing out on business due to being shut during the repairing process.

Proof the pipes

Lack of lagging (insulation) can be a main cause of freezing pipes so for the DIYers out there, bear in mind that pipes and tanks in exposed areas need to be lagged well.

Insulation should also be laid on top of pipes rather than underneath them, as insulation underneath pipes can stop heat reaching them. Insulated jackets should be put on water tanks, cisterns and boilers.

Of course, insulation and lagging is only a barrier. These measures should be taken in addition to keeping the central heating on in order to reduce the risk of freezing.

If businesses put these measures into action, then fingers crossed frozen or burst pipes shouldn’t be an issue. But don’t be fooled! Should your business experience a frozen or burst pipe, here are some immediate actions to take.

 

  1. Find the stop cock and turn it off
  2. Turn off the central heating
  3. Call your insurer as soon as possible

If you need any more information around keeping your pipes safe this winter, get in touch with our friendly team!

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