So, to be able to tell this story properly, I need to go back in time from my last post. Back to the original water mains leak which caused the flood. It was April 2016. There had been some big downpours and a strange puddle had developed in our front driveway. The puddle grew to huge proportions, and, after a couple of days, we were worried. We called Anglian Water (see below).
The Water Spread Through the House
Within a couple of days water began seeping up through the floor inside the cottage. Firstly it came up through the bricks in the hallway. Then it worked it’s way up the walls into the plaster. It spread to adjacent rooms. In the living room, the paint bubbled and dropped off. Underneath the paint, the plaster was saturated. It was obvious that the leak needed fixing quickly!
I love this photo of my husband and our neighbours. It was taken from the kitchen at the first stage of fixing the flood. It always reminds me of a scene from the old TV programme ‘Last of the Summer Wine’!
Being a listed building, and joined to our neighbours, there are all sorts of rights of way and shared utilities. The water coming into our garden from the mains stop cock fed two other properties. After entering under the wall, it branched off to our neighbours to the right. Then the pipe came straight into our cottage and carried on UNDER THE FLOOR to the cottage at the back of ours (part of the same listed building). So, my husband Mark, and our two neighbours temporarily fixed the leak between them within a couple of days. A proper fix would have to wait until we were able to find the experts we needed to do the job properly.
Repairing the Leak
So, a couple of weeks later we had booked in the experts. Our neighbour’s brother was a plumber and we knew someone who had a business driving a mini digger. With all the neighbours joining in with the ‘donkey work’, the pipes were re-routed, so they went through our garden instead of under the house. It was all completed in two days. We all paid a little for the improvements, and decided that it wasn’t worth getting the insurance companies involved. The excess we would all pay would be almost as much as sorting it all ourselves anway, so we opted against this extra hassle.
But, as I never like to be caught out, I’ve always got one eye on the future. So, I made sure to let NFU Mutual know what had happened just in case anything should go wrong in the future. And later, I was glad I had.
So, with the flood being repaired, we thought everything was fine. We didn’t know it then, but more than a year later, the repercussions of this little flood meant that things were to get much worse. For our little cottage and for us.
The next step in the insurance timeline was the first investigations into the source of the problem. You can read it here.
(Not) Listed Building Stuff – Water Leaks and Your Water provider
As you may already know, the water companies say that if you haven’t taken out special insurance, you’re not covered for water mains leaks if they occur on your property.
Living in the east of England, Anglian Water are our providers. They give advice on their website here on how to deal with a water leak. When we contacted them about the leak they did come to inspect the leak and helped us identify where problem was. But, as their liability stopped at the stop-cock on the path outside our boundary, this was going to be our problem.
Anglian Water do still offer their insurance for things like this and they send us regular reminders. But as we’ve repaired the problems ourselves and all the pipes are new, we believe it would be a waste of money for us at the moment.