Winter proofing your home – Burst Pipes

A burst pipe can cause a significant amount of damage in a very short period of time. In 2018, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of weather related claims for burst pipes averaged over £10,000.

So, with Winter around the corner its worth reminding ourselves what we can do to help prevent us falling victim to one of the most common winter incidents.

Make sure external pipes are insulated

  • Exposed pipes are prone to freezing, but the risk of this happening can be reduced if you insulate your pipes. There are several ways you can do this using material available in most home stores such as foam insulation or heat tape.
  • Seal up cracks and leaks

Don’t switch heating off entirely – keep temperature on low

  • Keeping your heater on low will help to stop the temperature of your home dropping low enough to increase the risk of burst pipes. The little bit extra you’ll pay for your heating is a lot less than what it would cost to repair a burst pipe, and help you to avoid the inconvenience and damage a burst pipe can cause.

Switch your water off

  • If you are going away for a while, you should consider turning off the main water line and draining the water system. This will leave your pipes empty, meaning they cannot freeze and burst.

Repair any dripping taps

  • This can help to prevent water from freezing

Know where your stopcock is

  • Being able to turn your water off as soon as you possible during a burst pipe can make the difference between minimal damage or making a huge claim. Knowing where it is in advance is therefore a good idea.

What should I do if I find a frozen pipe?

  • Check thoroughly that a crack has not already formed, and slowly thaw the pipe out using a hot water bottle.
  • Turn off your water at the stopcock, just in case.


The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information