Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a reality for thousands of people each year. That’s especially the case when you have weather like we have recently had.
“We see about 2,200 claims per day during an average January winter,” says Chris Zimmer, senior vice president of Claims Field Operations for Erie Insurance. “This January, we saw almost 3,000 claims per day. Many of them were due to frozen water pipes.”
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. That’s because the damage can be extensive.
To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follows these steps:
- Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
- Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
- Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
- Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines.
- Install heat trace tape on your sprinkler system plumbing. This is a DIY job—just make sure the tape plugs into a reliable electrical outlet so it can do its job.