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More than 50% of homeowners have suffered water damage, study reveals

With flood warnings currently in place across various parts of the country, there is growing concern for the potential impact heavy rainfall and burst river banks could have on businesses and residential properties.

But it’s not just flooding that can cause water damage, with cracked pipework and plumbing complications recently revealed to have affected approximately 52% of homeowners according to a recent survey.

One in 10 have encountered a major incident where water has caused extensive damage inside the home.

A third of homeowners haven’t checked the state of the boiler and pipes in their home in last year.

And nearly two thirds would rate their basic plumbing skills and knowledge as below average.

A spokesperson for Sykes Pumps Hire said: “It seems inevitable that at some point, whether through inclement weather, a burst river bank, or just some dodgy plumbing, homeowners are going to need to deal with some major water damage.

“Even for those who don’t live in at-risk areas below the water table, being prepared for a flood or unexpected water issue can help to limit the damage which can be done to your home.”

A water-related mishap has the potential to be costly and causes, on average, £976 to recover from when a burst pipe or flood strikes.

Unsurprisingly, the kitchen is the room in which we are most likely to suffer water damage, followed by the bathroom and the living room.

When asked to identify the culprit of the worst water damage they have experienced, one in four homeowners said a leaky pipe was to blame.

Fifteen per cent have had a pipe completely burst in their home, and one in 10 have suffered from a leaky roof.

Despite the high chance of a plumbing-based blunder, 42 per cent of homeowners would have no idea how to stop the water flow should a faulty pipe start flooding their home.

One in 10 homeowners surveyed believe they are currently living in an area at risk of flooding.

But only six per cent have any kind of flood preparation, such as pumps and sandbags, ready in their home in case of disaster.

Of those who have suffered water damage to their home, only a third went through their insurance policy to get their repairs done, and 38 have no idea if their insurance covers water damage

Fifty-two per cent paid outright for the damage to be sorted, and nine per cent said there are still repairs which need addressing in their home after their most recent experience of water damage.

A spokesperson for Sykes Pumps Hire, which commissioned the study, added: “We were surprised at the sheer number of people who have suffered water damage to their home, while still lacking the skills and knowledge to prevent further damage if disaster were to visit them again.

“Knowing your plumbing basics, and having some flood preparations to hand should the weather turn, can really make all the difference.”

Full results below:

 

1. Have you ever suffered water damage in your home?                              

Yes, a major incident      10.95%

219

Yes, a minor incident      41.10%

822

Yes, both major and minor incidents        3.05%

61

No          44.90%

898

 

2. Roughly how much damage (in £) was done to your home when you suffered your (worst) water damage incident?                            

1-100     16.42%

181

101-200                14.07%

155

201-300                13.52%

149

301-400                7.71%

85

401-500                8.44%

93

501-750                5.35%

59

751-1000              6.72%

74

1001-1500            5.44%

60

1501-2000            4.17%

46

2001-2500            2.63%

29

2501-3000            1.91%

21

3001-4000            1.36%

15

4001-5000            1.63%

18

5001-6000            0.82%

9

6001-7000            0.73%

8

7001-8000            0.54%

6

8001-9000            0.45%

5

9001-10000         0%

0

10001+  1.45%

16

N/A; I don’t know            6.62%

73

Average               975.99

 

3. Which room(s) were damaged when you suffered your (worst) water damage incident?                                        

Bathroom            25.50%

281

Kitchen 42.20%

465

Living room        21.87%

241

Dining room       10.07%

111

Master bedroom              9.17%

101

Garage 4.81%

53

Other bedroom 8.80%

97

Storage/utility room       6.62%

73

Hallway 15.15%

167

Stairs     5.54%

61

Loft        4.81%

53

Basement           2.72%

30

N/A; no room in particular was damaged               0.73%

8

Other    2.09%

23

 

4. Have you ever had water damage that was so bad you considered moving house?                    

 

Yes         9.62%

106

No          90.38%

996

 

5. What was the main cause of the worst water damage you’ve ever had?          

Burst pipe           15.06%

166

Leaky pipe           27.22%

300

Frozen pipe        2.36%

26

Blocked toilet     2.90%

32

Leaky roof           10.25%

113

Natural flooding               3.09%

34

Damp that was already there when you moved in              1.63%

18

Washing machine breaking          6.26%

69

Dishwasher breaking      2.09%

23

Clogged drains   2.27%

25

Dripping toilet   3.72%

41

Left a bath running and it overflowed     3.18%

35

Leaking air conditioner  1.09%

12

Leaking boiler    3.72%

41

N/A; I don’t know            2.27%

25

Other    12.89%

142

 

6. Would you know what to do if a pipe burst in your house?                    

Yes         58.20%

1164

No          41.80%

836

 

7. Do you know where to turn off the water supply to your home?                         

Yes         79.90%

1598

No          20.10%

402

 

8. When you last suffered water damage, did you claim through your insurance or pay for the repairs outright?               

 

Went through insurance               34.30%

378

Paid for repairs outright 51.81%

571

N/A; Neither/repairs still need doing       9.35%

103

N/A; I don’t remember  4.54%

50

 

9. Do you know if your home insurance covers water damage?                

 

Yes, I know it does/doesn’t cover water damage 57.85%

1157

No, I don’t know               38.05%

761

N/A; I don’t have home insurance             4.10%

82

 

10. Do you know what kind of boiler you have?               

 

Yes         79.80%

1596

No          20.20%

404

 

11. To your knowledge, are you currently living in an area which is susceptible to flooding?                                       

Yes, I am              9.30%

186

No, I’m not          83.50%

1670

N/A; I’m not sure             7.20%

144

 

12. Do you have any flood preparation in your home? (i.e. sandbags, specialist water pump)                                    

Yes         6.30%

126

No          88.75%

1775

Unsure 4.95%

99

 

13. Have you ever come home from a holiday to find that your boiler had sprung a leak or a pipe had burst/leaked, causing water damage?               

Yes, many times               6.99%

77

Yes, once or twice            14.70%

162

No, never            78.31%

863

 

14. When was the last time you checked on the state of the pipes and boiler in your house?                     

Within the last month    12.00%

240

Within the last three months      18.35%

367

Within the last six months            17.40%

348

Within the last year         19.05%

381

Longer than a year ago  16.25%

325

Never   16.95%

339

 

15. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I live in fear of water damage in my home, but still don’t do anything to prepare for it.’                        

 

Strongly agree   2.35%

44

Somewhat agree              12.11%

227

Neither agree nor disagree          24.60%

461

Somewhat disagree        26.89%

504

Strongly disagree             34.04%

638

16. How would you rate your plumbing skills?                  

Very good           4.30%

86

Good     9.55%

191

Average               22.50%

450

Poor      28.60%

572

Very poor            35.05%

701

 

17. Have you ever owned a home that has damp?                          

Yes, my current home has damp                9.45%

189

Yes, I used to own a home with damp     17.70%

354

Yes, my current home and a past home had damp             6.05%

121

No          62.00%

1240

Not sure               4.80%

96

 

18. Did you struggle to sell your home after realising it had damp?                         

Yes         12.00%

57

No          77.68%

369

Not sure               10.32%

49

19. Would you buy a home if you knew it had a damp problem?                              

 

Yes         7.75%

155

No          73.35%

1467

Not sure               18.90%

378

20. Has a damp problem in your home ever led to mould developing?                  

Yes, many times               26.66%

177

Yes, once or twice            53.92%

358

No          19.43%

129

 

21. What methods, if any, have you ever tried to get rid of mould?                        

 

Cleaning it off with bleach and water      66.17%

354

Just painting over it         35.14%

188

Cleaning it with vinegar 28.22%

151

Drilling extra ventilation holes    23.55%

126

N/A; I’ve never tried to get rid of mould 2.43%

13

Other    9.91%

53

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