This winter our household suffered even more than others during the long deep freeze. Returning home from a weekend with the in-laws, the normal Sunday night problems of getting tired and grumpy kids to bed and the household ready for Monday morning, vanished in the wake of a burst frozen pipe.
Not only did this mean no heating for a few days whilst temperatures continued to hover around zero, but it also cost us a fortune in replacing carpets, re-painting, and of course getting a plumber out to sort out the pipe itself.
I’ve now learned from my mistakes and last month took out the AA’s home emergency insurance, which you can take a look at here. This means that our household is now covered for common emergencies like burst pipes(!), broken boilers and anything that goes wrong with the heating.
Now we can go away for the weekend safe in the knowledge that if something does go wrong, we have 24/7 coverage that means never again having to look after a small family in sub-zero temperatures!
But, I have also resolved to be more aware so that we can avoid these problems in the first place. It’s actually quite easy to ensure you never have a burst pipe by taking a few precautions:
- Keep your heating coming on for a short time once a day during any time away from home;
- Make sure you run the cold taps before you go; and
- On new-builds, make sure the outside tap has been drained.
You can also minimise potential damage by switching off your stopcock as soon as you notice any frozen pipes. Make sure that you have frozen pipes checked out by a professional too so any early cracks do not go unnoticed.
Other top tips to avoid household emergencies are to have your boiler checked at least once a year, especially if you live in an older property. Avoid clogged pipes by making sure you only flush toilet paper down the loo. Fitting drains in bathtubs, showers and sinks will help to prevent build up of excess hair. Stay aware of what is going on with your heating system: listen out for strange noises and try to troubleshoot problems before they become serious.
Staying on top of things easily avoids nightmare household scenarios, but it’s also a good idea to insure against these risks, buying yourself peace of mind that you won’t be lumbered with unforeseen costs should an emergency arise – believe me, it’s well worth taking the trouble!