Three causes of water damage in the home and how to prevent them

We’ve teamed up with our home insurance provider RSA to provide a useful guide on the three most common causes of water damage in the home plus how to prevent them. From a blocked drain to a frozen pipe, find out below how to keep your home dry. 

Qualifying members* of The Nottingham can receive £25 cashback when they take out a brand new home insurance policy with us. Simply visit our home insurance page to get an online quote now, where you can pick and choose the items you'd like to cover. RSA will even pay your exit fee from your current policy! 

Escape of water  

RSA define an ‘escape of water’ as a source of water which is leaking from a source where it shouldn’t be, such as a cracked pipe. All homeowners are at risk of this and it’s important that you review your home insurance policy to make sure this is included.  

1. Burst pipes

This type of leak is considered the most damaging in the home with the most common cause being freezing temperatures and corroded piping. The best ways to prevent this issue according to RSA are to make sure the heating is set to at least 12 degrees continuously, however if you will be away from your home over the winter period, pop the heating on for an hour a day to keep the pipes from freezing over.  

2. Blocked drains

There are various ways that drains can get blocked around your home. The most common causes are hair blocking bath or shower drains and oil build up in the kitchen sink - gross. To prevent oil build up in kitchen drains, wait until fat or oil has solidified and discard with the normal household waste. To clear out the drains in your house, try pouring bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down your drains, then flushing with warm water. Make sure to do this on a regular basis to prevent drain blockages. 

3. Leaky appliances

RSA say that it’s common for washing machines to cause leaks in the home. And, with appliances such as dishwashers becoming more of a household essential**, it is important to check the pipes for signs of bulging or corroding. Make sure to check your appliances regularly for any signs of this and if you find any, get them fixed as soon as possible. 

How to detect a leak 

Detecting a leak is simple according to RSA. They suggest turning off your water both inside and outside your home, then record the water meter reading. Wait for fifteen minutes before checking again and if there has been any water use recorded during the test then this may indicate that there is a leak in your home. 

What to do if you have an escape of water

There are a few steps you can take to minimise the situation before you have to call in help and your insurer. RSA suggests turning the stopcock off which is usually located under the kitchen sink. It may be a good idea to practise this a few times before you have to do it for real. Once you’ve done this, RSA also suggest emptying the water system by opening the cold taps and flushing the loo a few times, it’s also a good idea to turn off the central heating and electricity just to be safe. To prevent any damage to your belongings, it’s a good idea to move these away from any water. If you are not confident with any of the above, ask a professional plumber to help you to avoid further damage. 

If you found this article useful, you can look at RSA’s tips on deep cleaning your house or get a free home insurance quote and make sure you’re covered come rain or shine.


Escape of Water


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