It is important to comprehend the causes of a flood or leak in order to understand how to respond appropriately.
This blog post provides guidance on what to do in the event of an ‘escape of water’ in your property and how minimise the risk of this occurring.
An "escape of water" is the term used to refer to a flood or leak within a property, from locations in which water is meant to be present, e.g. pipes.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) insurers pay out around £1.8m every day to customers who’ve made ‘escape of water’ claim through their home insurance.
The most common sources of an ‘escape of water’ are from:
Firstly, it’s crucial to seek professional assistance in the event of a flood or leak; however, it is advisable to attempt to contain the water if possible, prior to doing so.
The first and probably the most important step, is to turn off your stopcock. This is a connector between pipes, which when turned off, blocks the flow of water. Therefore, can stop the water in the event of a flood or leak.
A stopcock is typically located within the property, however, some properties have more than one stopcock. They could be both inside and outside the property.
Outdoor stopcocks are typically situated beyond the boundary of your property, either on the street or in front or back gardens. If a neighbour's leak is causing damage to your property and the neighbour is not present, these steps may be taken. Additionally, the interior stopcocks are typically located beneath kitchen or bathroom sinks, under staircases, in basements or in utility rooms.
If you are located in an apartment and are unable to identify the stopcock in any of the usual areas, it’s possible that it may be located in a cupboard within the shared hallway.
Maintaining and testing stopcocks is essential to prevent them from becoming stuck if left untouched for a prolonged duration. It is essential to keep valves relatively loose so they can be shut off quickly in the event of a flood or leak. If they do become stuck, WD40 can be used to help loosen them.
Water and electricity do not mix and is a huge shock and fire hazard. Even if there is no electricity present near the floor or any leakage, turning off the power source ensures that no live current can come into contact with the water. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
It is best to remove any personal or important items to prevent potential damage. Furthermore, it’s advisable to move furniture in order to prevent any damage or further damage from occurring.
Frozen pipes are a frequent source of a flood or leak, particularly during the winter season. Therefore, taking preventative measures are key. For more information on this subject and other forms of floods or leaks, please refer to one of our previous blog posts linked below:
CPL t/a Rainbow International provide a range of specialist cleaning services including fire and smoke damage and water and flood damage restoration. We are experts in dealing with water extraction, water damage and a wide range of flood and leak damage related issues, with nearly 20 years of experience. We are available 24/7, 365 days in the event of an emergency on 0800 030 4360. Therefore, please do not hesitate to get in touch to find out more.