Water Damage - Burst Pipe

Treating water damage

Step 1: Identifying the type and cause of water damage in your home

Water damage caused by escape of water

‘Escape of water’ is a more technical term for the water from the mains supply system escaping from a pipe, tank, appliance, heating, or drainage system in the property. In comparison, other forms of water damage may be caused by surface flooding or storm damage.

The most common cases of ‘escape of water’ are as follows:

Leaking Pipe under sink or appliance 1.     Water damage through burst or leaking pipe from internal plumbing.

Unfortunately, the cost of repairing the leak itself will probably not be covered by your insurance policy. But this is normally a very small part of the cost, the majority of which is repairing the water damage that has be caused by the leak. In most cases, the cause of the problem will be obvious. In some cases, a leak detection service will be required. This can include thermal imaging, gas trace, and acoustic microphones.

It is sensible to check your policy includes ‘trace and access’, i.e., the cost of finding the leak and gaining access to fix it. Modern plumbing systems hide most pipe work making ‘trace and access’ cover increasingly important. Not least having a full detailed report confirming the water damage has been caused by an insured peril. i.e., escape of water, will help enabling insurers to agree liability and agree to a claim being processed quicker.

2.     Water damage through leaking wastes typically from showers, basins, baths, WCs, and appliances.

Leaks such as this can be hard to trace because of hidden pipe work, especially in contemporary bathrooms.

Other types of water damage

Water damage from a storm.

Normally caused by high winds damaging part of the external fabric of your home which then lets in rainwater.

Water damage from ground water

Which will typically be flooding rivers, drains, culverts, and the like.

Step 2: Assessing the extent of damage and scoping out the remedial works

Once the leak has been identified and repaired it is important to properly access the extend of the water damage. Variables such as: the age of construction, materials used, amount and type of escape of water, level of contamination and extent of mould growth will all affect the remedial works and drying programme that is required.

Water damage is typically widespread as water travels quickly after an escape, and it’s difficult to stop it spreading even after the initial flood has been mopped up. Water travels under floor finishes, along ducting, up and down walls, across ceilings, in fact everywhere. It can travel and migrate in unexpected ways and directions. It is often hidden and unless it is properly identified and exposed it will never properly dry out. If not identified and resolved hidden water will lead to mould growth, wet and dry rot, and consequent serious damage, odour, and health risks. The task of identifying all water damage requires skill, experience, persistence, professional tools, and must be done before your claim is finalised.

Water damaged room dampTypically, repairs to water damage include.

  • Removing water damaged ceilings, drying out timbers, and fixing new ceiling.
  • Removing wet plaster and re-plastering.
  • Decontamination and mould remediation.
  • Removing damaged floor finishes and laying new floor finish.
  • Monitoring drying of concrete floors and solid walls
  • Specialist drying to target voids, cavities, and insulation materials
  • Removing tiles and re-tiling.
  • Removing and replacing water damaged woodwork
  • Painting and decorating throughout.

Step 3: Gaining approval for the works and making sure the strip-out confirms no further water damage

Water damage is notoriously unpredictable. The true extent of the damage is often not revealed until a comprehensive strip out of the affected areas has taken place. We will be able to quickly identify these problems and make insurers aware and submit additional costs variations where necessary.