How to Prevent, Recognize, and React to Frozen Water Pipes

frozen pipeThe numbers are chilling. 24% of all homeowner’s insurance claims are due to water damage (including damage from freezing), with the average cost of water damage or freezing claim hovering around $11,000, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute.

If you live in a cold weather climate, you’ve undoubtedly heard nightmare stories about frozen and burst water pipes. So, here are some guidelines to help you prevent freezing water pipes, spot the symptoms of frozen pipes, and act quickly if you suspect a pipe is freezing.

Insider Tip: Be sure you know what kind of water damage is covered by your homeowner’s policy. If you have questions about your policy through Paradigm Insurance Agency, you can call Derek at 610-389-7861.

Steps to Prevent Freezing Water Pipes
  • Disconnect outside hoses, drain and store them in a garage or shed.

  • Drain the water from other water sources that are likely to freeze, such as sprinkler systems. (In some cases, you may need a professional to drain and turn off the water line.)

  • Keep garage doors closed.

  • Keep your home temperature warm enough and steady throughout the day and night.

  • Add insulation to the attic, basement, and crawl spaces.

  • Seal wall cracks.

  • If it is particularly frigid, allow faucets to drip slightly, this allows water to continually flow through the lines, reducing the risk that stagnant water will freeze.

Symptoms of Freezing Pipes
  • No water comes out of the faucet.

  • Water coming out of the faucet, is slow, trickly, or inconsistent.

  • Foul smelling water (could be a sign of a freezing exterior sewer line.)

  •  Loud pipes. Banging, gurgling pipes might be telling you that there is a problem.

  • Condensation on a pipe.

What to Do if Your Water Pipes Freeze

If you suspect that your pipes may be freezing:

  • Act quickly.

  • Shut off the water to your whole home, or the section in which you suspect a problem.

  • Call for professional help.

If you are a seasoned DIYer and know how to thaw a frozen pipe safely and effectively, go for it. Otherwise, call a plumber ASAP.

A frozen pipe is a predicament. A frozen pipe that bursts is a disaster.

Prevention, awareness, and quick action can save you thousands of dollars on costly water damage repairs in the winter months. Beyond that, make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy has you covered just in case.
For more information, reach out to our experts at Paradigm Financial Group Inc. where comprehensive risk management is made simple. 610-422-3530.

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