If you, like us here at Smith Insurance in Rochester, have a home in New York, then you have probably heard at least one story about frozen pipes bursting and causing water damage this winter. If you, or someone you know, is concerned about frozen pipes, here are a few tips that should help!
This year, the homeowners insurance industry has seen an increase in claims of almost 40 percent. Many of these claims are due to the harsh winter we are having, specifically damage caused by frozen water pipes. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says that a burst pipe can cause in excess of $5,000 in damage. This number can dramatically increase depending on where the pipe is located and the length of time that the incident goes unnoticed. To help prevent your pipes from freezing, follow these 5 steps:
- Keep the temperature of your house above 60 degrees, even on vacation. The external walls of your home will be significantly colder than the internal wall that your thermostat is located on, so give yourself a buffer!
- Drain water from pipes that lead to a sprinkler system or swimming pool, as these are most likely to freeze.
- Disconnect hoses from outside spigots and close any indoor valves that lead to these spigots.
- Seal any wall cracks to help keep the cold out of your house.
- Make sure that the areas around lights and vents are well insulated.
What if, after taking all of the necessary steps, your pipes still freeze? The best sign that you have a frozen water pip is when you turn the faucet on and no water comes out. The very first step you should take is to check your pipes to make sure that nothing has burst. After this, we would recommend calling a plumber immediately. Plumbers know how to thaw out the pipes in your home and this is much safer than trying to do so yourself.