As the Met Office advises of a yellow weather warning across the North East, Northumbrian Water has warned customers of the devastation a burst pipe can bring.

The water company is appealing to customers to take steps to protect their properties – or risk having a flooded home or business during the coldest months of the year.


As well as the water damage and inconvenience that can be caused, a burst pipe costs on average £8,800 to fix, according to the Association of British Insurers.


However, Northumbrian Water experts say that the chance of a burst pipe is significantly reduced if property owners follow the advice and take measures to keep the freeze at bay.


Jim Howey, Head of Water Networks at Northumbrian Water, said: “So far this winter we have seen some fairly mild temperatures, but over the next few days we will be seeing a dramatic change – and that’s when burst pipes can occur.


“The steps we ask our customers to take are very easy ones, and it is so important to follow them as the impacts of a burst pipe at this time of year can truly be awful.


“As COVID restrictions currently ask that people work from home when they can, business owners in particular should be extra-vigilant when it comes to protecting their properties – as empty unheated buildings are more at risk.


“All of the pipework within the boundary of your business or home is your responsibility so the cost of the repair falls on you, therefore it is absolutely worth doing all you can to protect your home.”

Northumbrian Water’s top tips for beating the freeze:

  • Keep an eye out for any exposed pipes, taps and tanks in unheated areas that might be exposed to cold temperatures - such as in your garage or your loft space.
  • You can buy cheap lagging from DIY stores and wrap them around your pipes to protect them. They look like foam tubes and are very simple to cut up and pop around your pipes.
  • Keep your home heated. If you can, try and keep your heating on constantly at a low temperature, especially during cold spells.
  • Fix leaking pipes.
  • If you’re leaving your house for a few days, leave your heating on low.
  • If you’re leaving your property empty for a long time, turn off the stoptap.
  • Make sure you know where your stoptap is and that it is working.
  • Check your boiler has been serviced and make sure there’s no leaks.
  • Minimise draughts from doors and windows.

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