Severe winter weather ranks third as a cause of insured catastrophic losses, after hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Losses from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures across the United States average about $1.2 billion a year, according to the New York Times.
Concerned About Your Pipes Freezing? Call Us Today – (860) 216-2785
Preparing your home for cold weather can help avoid potentially costly problems, like frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands. That’s why a can of soda explodes if you put it into a freezer to chill quickly and forget it. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If the water expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes, and major damage can begin.
Average Frozen Pipe Damage: $18,000
The average claim for damage from a frozen pipe is about $18,000, although costs can vary widely. Repairing the actual broken pipe is often the least costly part of the damage frozen pipes cause. The damage to fixtures and home finishes from water spurting from a ruptured pipe is what runs up your bill. When a frozen pipe bursts you often must repair the flooring, drywall, and anything left on the floor.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
So what can you do to avoid frozen busted pipes? First, make sure your heating system is working properly and that vulnerable pipes, like those that run close to your exterior walls, are insulated.
If you go away for several days in the winter, make sure you leave the heat on. The Insurance Information Institute recommends setting your thermostat at 65 degrees.
Have someone check your home and property, if you can. If you expect to be away for extended periods — say, you go South for the winter — have your water turned off.
Others actions you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing are:
• Seal air leaks surrounding or near your pipes
• Keep your garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage
• Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems
• Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
• Keep your heat at a minimum of 55 degrees F at all times. Keep it at 65 when you’re out of town.
• During severe cold turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night
• Remove your outside hoses and store them inside during the winter
• If you need to be away from home, consider draining your water system before you go
• Identify the locations of shut-off valves so that you’re prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts
What If Your Pipes Do Freeze?
First, turn off the flow of water. That prevents further damage. To do that you need to know ahead of time where your main water shut-off valve is. Clearly mark it with a bright sticker. You may have to find it in the dark.
Next, call a plumber or contractor like SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield to conduct initial repairs and cleanup. Take precautions to avoid an electrical shock if you must be in or near standing water.
You should also take photographs to document the initial damage for your insurance company. Hold onto the broken pipe because your insurance company may want to inspect it.
Remember, SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield is here to help. We work on frozen pipes and severe weather damage. So call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) anytime, 24/7. At SERVPRO we’re trained in many restoration services. We know the safest, most advanced, and quickest ways to help you recover from frozen pipe and other damage to your home or business.
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