As water freezes, it expands, which can cause pipes or other containers to break. As temperatures drop, the risk of an incident from frozen pipes increases. Around 250,000 families experience damage to their home from frozen pipes each winter. Here’s what you can do to help lower your risk:
- Remove and drain any hoses attached to the outside of your home. If you have other outdoor water sources, like a sprinkler system, make sure those are drained as well.
- Identify areas in your home that are susceptible to lower temperatures, like a utility room, and keep a close eye on the pipes in those areas.
- Maintain good insulation by sealing around any openings to the outside, like dryer vents, windows, and doors. In addition, check and add to the insulation in attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
- Install pipe sleeves to exposed pipes to provide better insulation.
- In times of extreme cold, it can help to let water drip slowly from the faucet. This allows some of the pressure to escape through the faucet.
If you do experience water damage from a frozen pipe, the bill can add up quickly. Luckily, it will typically be covered by homeowner’s insurance so long as you’ve taken reasonable precautions to keep the building heated.