Tips for Preventing Burst Pipes

23rd Apr 2015 | |

Burst pipes in winter and colder spells of weather often result in burst pipes which can cause immediate flood damage as well as long-standing damp issues.

What causes burst pipes?

Cold spells and empty homes are the most common conditions for pipes to burst. Cold weather can cause pipes to burst if the water freezes as ice has a much higher volume than water and pushes for more space within the pipes. Pipes often burst in empty homes due to a lack of water passing through them which leads to freezing or corrosion.

How to protect against burst pipes

If you are going away during a cold spell then bear in mind the following tips:

  • Insulate pipes with lagging in the crawl spaces and attic where the chance of freezing is at its highest.  Typically, exposed pipes in these areas lead to freezing pipes.
  • Central heating should be kept at a minimum of 12 to 15 Celsius if it is expected to freeze.
  • Allow warm air to flow into the loft space by leaving the loft hatch open so warmer air can prevent the cold tank from freezing.
  • Cabinets and cupboards that contain pipes should have their doors left open; this will allow warmer air to circulate and reach pipes under sinks and also in outside walls adjacent.
  • Water supply to outside taps should be turned off.
  • Also mains water at the stopcock should be turned off unless a combination boiler requires constant mains pressure.
  • Consider draining the cold water system if you’re going away for long periods over the winter and want to save on heating bills.

British Insurance Brokers’ Association and Ageas have a free factsheet on protecting properties against burst pipes. This can be downloaded at

For any help or advice on dealing with burst pipes please contact us on 020 7760 7660 or We offer a wide range of drying solutions to tackle damp, condensation and water damage.