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Preventing Water Damage

Published: 11/10/2017

Preventing Water Damage

The homes of our private clients come in all shapes and sizes, but irrespective of the period, architect, location and style one very common thread is the high quality of the interior finish. When any of these homes are unfortunate enough to suffer problems with leaking pipes it's safe to say that the damage will be substantial. This applies both in terms to the fabric of the building/interior, but also their prized possessions such as fine art collections, bespoke carpets and antique rugs (not forgetting that for everyone, many of the things within our contents hold sentimental value too).

What's more the amount of water pipes in high value homes can also be significant, this is reflected in the number of en-suite bathrooms, complex heating arrangements, or listed properties with older systems and other new, high-tec water-demanding products.

Currently the level of claims relating to escape of water in the home is over 30%, and this can be even higher during severe winter periods due to freeze and thaw to pipework. Insurers say that claims costs can run into six figures and homes are far more likely to be affected by a water leak than a fire or a burglary.

A noticeable trend regarding this type of water loss is where there has been a previous water leak, there is a high chance of this happening again, possibly indicating poor installation of pipework. Refurbishment projects have also been linked to issues of water loss – plumbing installations may not have been correctly pressure tested during installation and are therefore vulnerable to water losses following hand over of the project. Water can escape very quickly from pipework – a 15mm standard water pipe can have 2,000 litres per hour flowing through at standard mains pressure. If the pipe fails this can result in a lot of water in the home and even more depending on how long it goes undetected! 

Water leak detection systems are still the main solution to minimise water loss at home. One of our high net worth insurers recommends the Dantaet water leak detection system.

Formed in Denmark in 1986, Dantaet have installed over 10,000 systems to date. Their water leak detection system is ‘flow based’ and measures the volume of water flowing within the home. If an abnormal flow is detected by the flow meter, such as a burst pipe, a signal is sent to the controller to activate the automatic stop valve – thus shutting off the incoming supply and preventing further damage to the home. So the system doesn’t prevent the actual leak – but stops the leak becoming a flood. 

The system can be set for normal daily use also for unoccupied periods – the Holiday Mode feature – which can set the limit to a nominal 20 litres in one continuous flow. Another useful feature is the ‘seepage alarm’, alerting users to slow leaks (hidden within a wall cavity for

example). In this case a plumber can investigate the cause and minimise damage at an early stage.  

Feedback from those affected by water leaks is that the damage to the home is matched by the upheaval to their lives following a major water loss event. A typical high net worth policy covers alternative accommodation costs while dehumidifiers are drying out the home; but it can be several months before redecoration can commence. Meanwhile, your family have to endure the stress of living away for maybe up to a year before the home is completely redecorated and furnished again.

Azur, who recommend Dantaet, will pay up to £5,000 towards the installation costs following a significant water leak in the home as an incentive for their clients to install these proactive devices.

Whilst water leak detection systems will not prevent water leaks in the home – but they can provide a solution to prevent a water leak becoming a very nasty flood. 

If you would like more information about Dantaet or any other water leak detection system please call Flint Private Clients on 0208 309 3434.


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