How to Prevent our Pipes from Freezing

While home insurance may cover frozen popes that cause water damage, it is important to learn how to protect your home from this risk. The good news is that it is possible to prevent damage from frozen pipes in many situations.

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How to Prevent our Pipes from Freezing

When the temperatures drop very low it is possible for your home’s pipes to burst. The water within them can freeze, expand, and cause a blockage that leads to a bursting of the pipe, which can also cause significant damage to your home. Home insurance may cover some damage resulting from frozen pipes, but it is best to try to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are some tips and steps to protecting your home from frozen pipes exploding.

What Causes Frozen Pipes?

Frozen pipes occur when the temperature within a home, around those pipes, drops to a very low level. This can happen at any time during the winter or colder months but is most common when temperatures fall rapidly or a home is left without any heating on during the colder months. When the temperatures drop, the remaining moisture in the pipes freezes. Water expands when it turns into ice and it does so with a significant amount of pressure. This can cause the pipes to expand as the ice freezes. Eventually, the piping cannot handle the pressure and bursts, which causes the remaining water in the pipes to begin flowing out.


Freezing pipes like this tend to occur in areas of high risk, such as those that are closest to the outdoors, those that are outside spigots, or areas where temperatures are not regulated well by a home’s furnace, such as in closed cabinets. It is also more likely to happen when pipes are older and not as readily maintained. This can cause a higher likelihood of a burst to occur.


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Will Home Insurance Cover Burst Pipe Water Damage?

If the pipes in your home burst, it may be covered under your home insurance policy. Your home insurance agency may help you to clean up the damage from the incident, such as getting rid of the wet materials and replacing damaged belongings. The process will also require some attention paid to the repairs and what caused the damage. If there is any indication that it was poor maintenance, your insurance may not provide as much coverage as you may need.


How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

The good news is that there are things you can do to keep pipes from freezing. One simple step is to keep water moving through them. Moving water is less likely to freeze. You don’t need much to achieve this. For example, turn on the water to just a small drip. This helps to ensure water keeps moving.


It is also possible to regulate the heat within the home well, especially in the coldest areas such as the basement. In these areas, you may want to use additional heating to ensure pipes remain at an above-freezing temperature. Keep cabinetry in the bathroom and kitchen open to keep that air warm.


You can also insulate pipes to prevent freezing. If there are any areas that are especially vulnerable, such as those near exterior walls, hire a licensed plumber to help you to insulate the lines. This process works to add a covering to the pipes, which allows for there to be less loss of heat through them.


It is also important to consider your drains. The drains in your home can also freeze. They are more likely to do so if there is a clog present. That clog is likely to have some moisture on it, which can freeze. To avoid this risk, be sure to have lines properly cleaned and maintained to avoid freezing.

Prevent Frozen Pipes with Routine Maintenance

Frozen pipes can occur to anyone, but it is a high risk if the home is older. It may be important to have a professional come into your home to provide a full plumbing inspection. Have them look for any signs of leaks. Even small drips can be a problem during the winter months. If there are pipes that are no longer strong enough or have been damaged over the years, they should be replaced. This can help minimize the risk of a weak pipe bursting.

What Should You Worry About with Frozen Pipe Bursts?

You should worry about burst pipes because they can cause a significant amount of damage to your home. If there is a breakage, this can lead to water spraying across the area. It can damage your flooring, furniture, and personal items. It can also damage the drywall, structural walls, and the ceiling depending on where that leak is. This can be costly to repair.


If you have a risk for frozen pipes, do what you can to prevent it. If this does occur to you, contact your home insurance agent to file a claim. In many situations, you can receive compensation for your losses.


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