Avoid Winter Home Claims and Frozen Pipes

Tips to Avoid Winter Insurance Claims and Frozen Pipes

Did you know a burst pipe can cause over $5,000 in water damage? Take a look at these quick tips to help avoid finding yourself in this situation…

❅ Staying Warm

  • Try to keep your thermostat around the same temperature during the day and at night.

  • Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave.

  • On large properties, consider installing a monitoring system that can notify you if part of the building gets below a set temperature.

  • Inspect your heat source for damage that may cause a fire and remove nearby combustible items.

❅ Cabinets and Faucets

  • Opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets helps circulate warm air around the pipes.

  • During extremely cold weather, allow your faucets to drip cold water. The movement makes it harder for the water to freeze.

❅ Seal Inside & Out

  • Seal ALL cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior using caulk or insulation.

  • Pay special attention to the areas around utility service lines.

  • Make sure to insulate and seal vents, plumbing stacks and electric mechanical chases.

  • Insulate around vents and light fixtures to help heat from escaping into the ceiling.

  • Apply pipe sleeves or heat tape to the most vulnerable pipes.

❅ Windows & Doors

  • Double check that your windows and doors are adequately sealed.

  • Don’t forget to close your garage doors to help protect your water lines.

❅ Pipes

  • Drain water from pipes more likely to freeze, including swimming pool and sprinkler systems.

  • Disconnect hoses and sprinklers from the house, drain them and store them indoors. Don’t forget to close valves supplying water to these points.

  • It’s a good idea to learn where your water shut off is located so you can minimize damage if your pipes still freeze, despite your best efforts.


What do I do if I have a frozen pipe?

Immediately shut off the water to prevent further damage and call a licensed plumber. Be aware that thawing the pipe yourself can be dangerous, take extreme caution.

Know what not to do:

  • Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes.

  • Avoid using a space heather until the area is clear of flammable material.

Keep the faucet open:

  • Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this.

  • Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will speed up the thawing process.

Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen:

  • This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well.

  • Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.

If pipes are located inside and exterior wall:

  • Cut a hole in the wall (toward the inside of the house) to expose those pipes to warmer air.


References:

  1. https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2019/01/31/10-ways-to-prevent-frozen-pipes-avoid-costly-insurance-claims/?kw=10%20ways%20to%20prevent%20frozen%20pipes%20%26%20avoid%20costly%20insurance%20claims&utm_source=email&utm_medium=enl&utm_campaign=newsflash&utm_content=20190131&utm_term=pc360
  2. https://disastersafety.org/
  3. https://www.insurance.com/home-and-renters-insurance/natural-disasters/winter-homeowners-insurance-claims.html

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the excellent guide

  2. With thanks! Valuable information!

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