The deep freeze that is coming our way can cause a host of problems for homeowners. Damage caused by frozen water pipes is one of the most common and severe types of insurance claims that we see every year.
As the water in pipes freezes, it expands, creating enough pressure for pipes to rupture. A burst pipe can release hundreds of gallons of water per hour into your house. Pipes in unheated parts of a home, improperly insulated pipes, and those along outside walls are most vulnerable.
How to help prevent frozen pipes
- During a cold snap, leave your heat on higher than you normally would: 65 degrees or higher is a good idea.
- Let faucets drip cold water in extremely cold weather, especially overnight when temperatures are at their lowest. While a small flow of water will not prevent a pipe from freezing, it may prevent it from bursting.
- Open the cabinets under your sinks to allow warm air to circulate in the area.
- Drain water out of all outside pipes.
- Arrange a contract with your fuel company for automatic deliveries.
- If you will be away from the home during an extreme cold spell, ask someone to check on your house at least daily.
- If you leave your home for an extended period during the winter, have the pipes drained or leave the thermostat set to a level that will keep the entire house warm and avoid freezing.
- Install an automatic water shut-off valve in your home to help mitigate damage in the event of a pipe break.