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Your bathroom may be watertight but is your home insurance policy?

The recent cold weather that gripped the UK for several weeks led to a massive surge in home insurance claims. Frozen pipes which eventually burst caused massive amounts of damage to many homes across Britain. Last year during the coldest winter spell seen since records began the estimated bill for frozen and burst pipes hit a staggering £75 million a week.

There are many things that can go wrong in a home but few have such serious consequences as a bathroom flooding. It can cost around £2000 to repair and rebuild your bathroom after a flood but it is not just the bathroom that will be affected. Damage to ceilings, furniture and irreplaceable belongings can have an even greater impact on both your home and your finances.

It won’t happen to me

Research by housing charity Shelter showed that one in four homeowners do not have adequate home or contents insurance with 42 per cent saying they could not afford it and 22 per cent saying they did not think it was important. Home insurance is important and without it, you could be faced with a huge repair cost if the worst was to happen.

It is simple to get your home covered. Home insurance is split into two forms – buildings insurance which will cover the structure and its permanent fixtures and fittings, and contents insurance which will cover your contents such as electrical items, carpets, curtains and clothing.

It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Comparison sites such as confused or moneysupermarket will compare hundreds of providers in seconds for you, guaranteeing the cheapest possible home insurance cover for you and your home.

Attention to Detail

When applying for home insurance it is important that you pay close attention to what is and what isn’t included in the policy. The cheapest policy may not always be the best cover for you. Here are some details to pay close attention to.

Cover during construction – If you are planning to renovate your bathroom, make sure you are covered whilst the work is being carried out.

Escape of water – This can relate to burst domestic pipes, blocked drains, broken valves and even taps that are left running. Study the terms and conditions carefully as different providers will offer varying levels of this type of cover.

Home Emergency Cover – Usually available as an added extra, for an additional premium this could prove vital in case of an emergency. A 24hr helpline will be provided and it will ensure that a suitable tradesman will be on the scene in the fastest time possible.

Sewer back-up – In most cases this can be excluded from a home insurance policy so again, if you feel you need this, make sure it is in the terms and conditions.

How to avoid a flood

Your home is probably the most valuable asset that you will own in your lifetime. Whilst a watertight home insurance policy is vital, it is only there to help pick up the pieces if the worst were to happen. There are steps you can take now, which will help you avoid making a claim in the future.

  • Locate your stopcock – If there is a pipe leaking in your property, knowing where your stopcock is will stem the flow of water immediately.
  • Insulate your pipes – To avoid both your internal and external pipes freezing, insulate them where possible.
  • Fix those smaller problems – Untreated these smaller problems could turn into bigger problems over time. So repair any dripping taps or cracks in the walls.
  • Away from home – If you are due to be away from your home for a long period of time ask a relative or neighbour to regularly check up on your property.

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Bathroom Wall Panels

Bathroom wall panels are water proof panels which are generally manufactured using thermoplastics, better known as UPVC, although some panels may be manufactured from Medite Exterior grade medium density fibreboard, which is more commonly known as MDF. This MDF board is then covered on the outer face with a high pressure laminate, and a balancing laminate is applied to the back to prevent distortion of the panel, this also improves the waterproof qualities of the panel.

Most UPVC bathroom wall panels are manufactured with two outer walls ( front & back ) and a honeycombed interior, which is necessary for good rigidity and keeping the panel flat. They are joined together using a tongue and groove system, depending on the style of panels, and this ensures each panel is locked together, thus making a more watertight and rigid joint. The joint between the panels can then be made more secure by applying a bead of silicone, and this is recommended particularly if a power shower or high pressure shower is installed.

Because the panels are manufactured using either UPVC or Laminated MDF, they are very easy to keep clean, and whilst they are extremely resistant to most chemical cleaners such as bleach products, it is recommended and indeed only necessary to use a wet soapy soft cloth, as this will be sufficient for most cleaning requirements.

All bathroom wall panels are totally waterproof are very hygienic and make a great alternative to the more conventional wall tiles, which are prone to certain strains of fungi particularly on the tiles grouting, which can produce a mouldy appearance.

They are available in many different styles and colours, which will suit any bathroom improvement requirements, and some of these styles can include:

* Woodgrain effect
* Marble effect
* Mosaic effect
* Plain colours

These wall panels can also be complimented with ceiling panels, and help to give that extra finished look.

UPVC and laminated wall panels are quick and easy to install. Installation can be applied in several ways, some of which are:

* Screw fixed
* Adhesive
* Self adhesive

Installation can be carried out by the purchaser, or may be supplied and fitted by the supplier, and all installed panels can be finished with a matching trim on the top and bottom edges. For a more quality installation suppliers will usually stock the appropriate matching coving, which adds to the overall appearance and produce a very stylish bathroom. Many panel systems are available in kit form, and an accomplished DIY enthusiast should have no problem with the installation. Most bathroom panels or panel systems will usually come with a 10 to 15 year guarantee, although this depends on the quality and system purchased and may vary.

If you are in need of this service check out our product pages, they contain many companies that specialise in this. John Cheesman writes about Bathroom Wall Panels. Visit the Businessmagnet product page for details and suppliers of Bathroom Wall Panels.

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Roman updates range of shower accessories

Roman has refreshed and re-launched their popular range of shower accessories. This year the range has been revived and updated to give it a sleek, ultra modern look.

Customers can choose between 7 different shower baskets in a range of shapes and sizes. There are options for a corner or a straight wall installation, along with an option to hook the basket directly over the glass of the enclosure. The baskets are forged from solid brass and finished with a contemporary chrome effect.

New to Roman’s range of accessories are two mirrored bathroom cabinets. These are available in a two door option, which features stylish clean straight lines, or alternatively in a curvaceous single door option.

These Roman branded accessories are also backed by a 10 year guarantee, giving the end user added peace of mind.

David Osborne, Managing Director at Roman, comments; “We are very excited about the launch of our newly updated range of accessories. Since we first launched our collection of accessories they have proved very popular. With the modern bathroom becoming much more brand conscious, consumers are looking for everything within their enclosure to sit under one complete brand name. Roman can offer everything from the enclosure, tray, valve and accessory, all under the Roman brand – the complete showering solution.”

Source: Plumbing Park - The leading online magazine for the Plumbing and HVAC industry.

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