Frozen pipes cause influx of Escape of Water Claims

The recent cold snap with prolonged sub-zero temperatures causing burst pipes has brought Escape of Water Claims to the fore again. Hawkins’ Mechanical Engineers and Materials Scientists are experts at investigating why water pipes burst and collectively have significant experience in this area. As water freezes, it expands and when it is constrained in pipework, causes a very significant increase in pressure. Hawkins' expert Dr. Andrew Prickett, explains, "When water freezes it expands in volume by about 9 %, which is unusual because most materials are more dense in their solid form than the liquid." The internal pressure can exceed the yield strength of the pipe and cause a longitudinal split, characterised by the classic “fish mouth” burst. The pressure can also cause plumbing joints to separate.

Escapes of water caused in this way often result from failures to insulate or heat the building or pipework adequately, or by design failures in modern buildings.

Hawkins are here to help and are happy to give you free telephone advice if you have an escape of water claim with a potential recovery target. Visit our contact page for details of your local office.

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