The recent freeze affected hundreds of properties where pipes froze and ruptured during three weeks of sub-zero temperatures. Last year, the bill for damage caused by the cold spell in Ireland was in the region of €300m but assessors have warned that homeowners could have claims for damage from the recent cold snap rejected.
The Department of the Environment recommends that pipes should be buried at least 600mm (two feet) underground. At this depth, the soil acts as a natural insulator and prevents them freezing. However, Environment spokesman Phil Hogan indicated that pipes of boom time properties were not laid properly “damage in the recent cold snap could have been avoided had the pipes been properly laid…it is clear that some builders and developers ignored building regulations”. Not only that but it is said that the pipes, even at the recommended depth have never experienced such cold conditions and are not insulated enough to withstand the low temperatures.
While another round of Arctic weather is forecast the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) advised householders to keep their homes well-heated, leave the loft or hatch door open and insulate exposed pipes to avoid water pipes and tanks freezing.
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