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Preventing Frozen Pipes

January 20th, 2015 Posted in Lifestyle

shutterstock_42880654It’s that time of year again! Our region has already seen temperatures drop below zero and it is not over yet. It is important during the winter season to keep your home and family safe from the outside aliments such as snow, freezing rain and low temperatures.

Many of us remember to shovel and salt the driveway or walkway but we forget about the areas of the home that are unseen like the pipes. Frozen pipes not only disrupt daily life, they can be expensive to repair. An analysis of The Hartford’s winter claims history found that frozen pipes average around $18,000 per claim. Frozen pipes can burst and cause a lot of damage to your home including flooring, furniture and dry wall.

Generally, pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures freeze more rapidly, such as hose bibs, swimming pool lines and water sprinkler lines. Pipes that run along the exterior walls in the home with minimal installation also tend to freeze more easily.

You can take precautions to prevent frozen pipes in your home using the following recommendations:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated interior areas, such as crawl spaces and attics.
  • Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables.
  • Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warm air.
  • Seal any leaks with caulk or insulation.
  • Disconnect outdoor items such as hoses and faucets.
  • Trickle a little water out of your faucets periodically to keep water moving within the pipes.
  • Keep your garage door closed if there is a water supply in there.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night.
  • Do not set your thermostat lower that 55°F when going on vacation.

It is also important to talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage if you were to experience a burst from a frozen pipe. It is best to check your policy ahead of time, to make sure you know just what it covers, and what your coverage limits are. If you have expensive belongings stored where they may be subject to damage from broken pipes, you may want to increase your coverage.

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