Don’t Let the Cold Get to Your Pipes This Winter
It’s hard to think of a worse start to a winter day in Missouri than turning on the faucet and … nothing. Maybe there’s a trickle of water, but it’s clear something is wrong. Frozen pipes can cause multiple headaches. So, what now? Here are some smart tips to help you prevent or address what could easily become a very messy and expensive situation:
See to your outdoor water lines:
Before cold weather arrives, drain water sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines, and remove, drain and store outdoor hoses. If possible, close inside valves supplying outdoor faucets, and open the outside faucets for draining. Keep them open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipe. If you can’t shut off the water to your outside lines, pick up some foam faucet covers.
Keep your home warm:
Maintain an interior temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re sleeping or not at home. Seal any drafts and leave interior doors open to help keep an even temperature from room to room.
Tend to those pipes:
Leave the cabinet doors open in the kitchen and bathroom so your pipes aren’t shut off from the warm air. You can also insulate your pipes with sleeves, heat tape or heat cable. Insulation is especially important in unheated areas, such as your attic, basement, garage or crawl space, and for pipes running along exterior walls. During extreme cold spells, you may want to leave all faucets, both hot and cold, running at a slight trickle.
Call in a professional:
Frozen water in your pipes can cause them to burst, meaning you’ll have a mess on your hands once that water thaws. So, act quickly to shut off your main water supply, and call in a licensed plumber to see to the situation.
In our area the most common reasons for broken pipes are due to water hoses left attached to outdoor faucets, and crawl spaces that are not properly insulated. Also, remember it is important to winterize any secondary homes as well, especially if they are mostly or completely vacant during the winter months.
Thanks to our partners at Safeco for this great information. Be sure to touch base with us at Scott Agency to check whether you’re covered for the damage a frozen pipe may cause. We’re happy to answer all of your policy questions this winter, and beyond.