Record low temperatures are occurring throughout the United States which can lead to pipes freezing. “We see about 2,200 claims per day during an average January winter,” says Chris Zimmer, senior vice president of Claims Field Operations for Erie Insurance. “Many of them are due to frozen water pipes.”
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. That’s because the damage can be extensive. While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
- Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them inside. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
- Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
- Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines. Also ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
- Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
- Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.