Aviva's Claims data shows that some of the water disasters seen in the home could be down to poor maintenance and poor DIY, so people shouldn't attempt to fix leaky pipes or investigate mysterious wet patches unless they know what they're doing. One wrong move could, quite literally bring the ceiling down. Always call a qualified plumber in to help.
(PRWEB) March 26, 2010
Brits are being urged by Aviva's in-house research team to check their water works this Easter to help prevent a future household disaster.
Leaks in bathrooms, loos and kitchens are one of the biggest areas for household claims costing around £2000 a time. The average home has half a ton of water sloshing around it every day, so it’s not surprising how much damage can be caused if an en-suit springs a leak!
And in-house research by Aviva reveals that have-a-go plumbers in the home could be to blame for some of the mishaps.
Analysis of claims data reveals the top 10 problem areas are;
1. The washing machine – pipes not correctly fitted to the appliance.
2. The dish washer – again pipe fitting is the main problem.
3. Loose taps – slow dripping leaks can cause damage that remains invisible for months.
4. Shoddy seals around baths and shower trays.
5. Leaking shower pipes – remain unnoticed as pipes are often buried in a wall.
6. Radiator joints, over time the joints can wear down - when heating is switched off is when radiator valves are likely to start dripping.
7. Un-lagged pipes in concrete floors – without insulation the pipes can rub against the concrete causing abrasion and eventually a leak and copper pipes can corrode in concrete if not protected
8. Outdoor taps – if not turned off or insulated during the winter can freeze causing pipes to burst
9. Ball cocks in water tanks – If the ball is broken or split the tank can overflow causing extensive damage to lofts and sometimes the rest of a home.
10. Un-lagged or poorly lagged pipes in the loft – during cold weather water in pipes can freeze causing the pipes to burst.
Rob Townend, director of household claims at Aviva, said, “Bank Holiday weekends give homeowners the perfect chance to carry out some simple home maintenance. So by all means check out dodgy taps, the sealant around the bath and shower and pipes in the loft, but people should be realistic about their abilities."
"Aviva's Claims data shows that some of the water disasters seen in the home could be down to poor maintenance and poor DIY, so people shouldn't attempt to fix leaky pipes or investigate mysterious wet patches unless they know what they're doing. One wrong move could, quite literally bring the ceiling down. Always call a qualified plumber in to help.”
Damage caused by water leaks in the home is covered as standard in both buildings and contents insurance. But standard household insurance does not cover the cost of repairing the faulty apparatus or pipe/water tank, etc. that leaked in the first place.
Some policies also don’t cover a policy holder for leaks if the home is left unoccupied for more than 30 or 60 days in a row. (Aviva household policies cover holders for up to 60 days away.) If a person is going on holiday for longer, they're best advised to contact their insurer to arrange for increased cover.
Top Tips for dealing with household leaks:
- Check that the grouting around shower tiles is consistent, particularly where the tiles meet the shower tray.
- Make sure the sealant between the bath and tiles is in good condition and water-tight.
- Use suitable flooring in rooms with lots of water, like the bathroom or kitchen. Where laminate flooring is used in these rooms it should be the type that resists water damage.
- Be extra vigilant if with concealed pipes, e.g. behind plaster board walls. Watch out for signs of damp.
- Plastic pipes may appear to make the job easier but they may give greater problems in the long-run. Unless instructions are followed carefully, joints can come apart.
- In case of a water leak, it's important to know where the stopcock is and how to turn it off. Most houses have one outside under pavement or drive and inside typically under the kitchen sink .
- Make sure any overflow pipes from tanks in the loft are not restricted. If the ball valve in the tank does fail, the pipe needs to be free to allow water to escape from the property and not into the property.
- And lastly, Aviva advises people against getting into too much ‘Do It Yourself’ unless they are fully competent. Get professional plumbers in to fit new bathrooms or sort out complicated pipe work.