- Open the attic trap door to allow heat into the attic.
- 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.
- Lag your outside taps in the garden – find an old towel of foam to wrap securely around the tap.
After the freeze and as the ‘Big Thaw’ sets in if pipes are frozen or burst:
- 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 placeconsider putting them into waterproof plastic bags.
- Unplug and remove all electrical items in the affected area.
Once the leak is under-control , you should take the following action:
- Get advice from your insurance company – have your policy number to hand and other key information that will help smooth the claims notification process includes date of event, loss type, incident details, contact details, policy cover.
- Do not reconnect your services until an accredited engineer has checked them.
- Dry out appliances affected by flood 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 as your claims adviser will need to assess damage to your belongings for valuation purposes and to see if it’s possible to repair them.
Many thanks to Alan Tyrrell of Aviva for these helpful tips. What else do you recommend?