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This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.

(This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.)

Leaks in your home

Slow leaks can go unnoticed for long periods of time and can sometimes lead to wood rot, which if left untreated in severe cases can cause structural problems.

Leaks usually cause a patch of dampness close to the place that is leaking, with the edge of the damp patch appearing as a tidemark. Slow leaks can lead to peeling wallpaper, crumbling plaster and mould growth. Large leaks and burst pipes can also cause ceilings to bulge or even collapse.

Water leaking into the property from outside, e.g. as a result of a leaking roof or defective guttering and drainpipes, or inside the property from leaking water pipes or fixtures, will cause dampness.

If the leak is on your mains water supply at your water meter or between your house and the boundary of your property (your service pipe), you or your landlord is usually responsible for repairing it.

Water leaking anywhere near electrical sockets/light fittings etc. is unsafe as it can cause electric shocks.

In the event of an emergency, for example a burst pipe or an urgent leak that is affecting the safety of the electrics, you should take steps yourself such as turning off the water at the main supply tap and turning off the electrics.

What you can do

  • You can help identify the cause of the leak by noting whether it is worse when it rains, or when you take a shower;
  • if you are an owner-occupier it is your responsibility to fix the problem and you should contact a reputable plumber;
  • if you are a tenant, your landlord is responsible for fixing the problem. Tell them and agree when the work can be carried out. Give them the chance to fix the problem, before you contact us;
  • if the leak is a water burst outside the property boundary you should contact Yorkshire Water.

If your pipes are burst or frozen follow these steps:

  • Turn the water supply off at the stop tap. It is probably located near the kitchen sink;
  • turn the cold taps ON (save some water for drinking);
  • make sure the sink and bath plugs are out;
  • turn the immersion heater and central heating OFF, if you have them. If you have a solid fuel boiler, let the fire die out;
  • turn the hot taps ON;
  • if there is water near the lights or sockets, turn the electricity off at the meter;
  • catch leaks in buckets and soak up water with towels to prevent water damaging your home;
  • if you rent your home, ring your landlord or agent immediately. If you own your home, ring a plumber;
  • if your pipes are frozen very gentle warm the pipes with a hair dryer starting from the end nearest the tap.

Report a repair problem with a private landlord