Did you know that a burst pipe in your home could cause $10,000 in damage? Nationwide and Allied Insurance calculated that average, and between 2009 and 2011 there were more than 30,000 claims by homeowners with more than $2.1 million in costs. New York was one of the top states for frozen pipe claims between these two insurance companies. Doing a little preparation now can help to prevent the headache of a burst pipe from visiting you and your home, and keep you from needing to file a claim of your own. It seems that every year, the winters are colder, and you just bundle up and try to deal with it. What about your home? This year, it might be a good idea to start bundling up your home’s pipes to protect them from damage. Pipes that contain frozen water are under intense pressure from that water going from a liquid to a solid. This can cause the pipes to burst. Pipes that you need to watch closely include those in crawl spaces, attics, and along outside walls. Outside walls where there are holes for cables and lines that supply the cable box, telephones, and other modern necessities are known culprits for potential frozen pipe problems. Here are some tips for pipe protection.
- Purchase insulation that goes around your exposed pipes. This can be purchased from most DIY and hardware stores. It may come in sleeves or wrapping.
- Seal any holes or cracks in your foundation and walls with caulking. Focusing on just the areas around the water pipes will help your pipes, but examining your whole home may seal up some areas where your heated air is escaping. This step is a win-win.
- Your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors might prevent warm air from getting into the pipes under them. Keeping the cabinets open can help the heated air of your home circulate.
- In areas that are not heated, it can be helpful to allow a small amount of water to trickle out of the faucet to help prevent it from freezing out.
- If you are one of those lucky people that get to travel out of town during the winter months, it can be a good idea to drain the water system before leaving.
- Lastly – Close your garage door. This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you are rushing in from the cold it could slip your mind!
Frozen pipes are a hassle that no one wants to deal with, and an ounce of prevention today is worth it to prevent any damage to your home. Until next time, stay warm and have a great Valentine’s Day weekend!