Since you were school age, you have known the scientific formula: frozen water expands. Imagine, then, what occurs within your home water pipes when it gets super cold. The pipe water becomes frozen and as the water expands, it raises the water pressure. More water pressure eventually leads to burst pipes, which of course causes the type of water damage to your home that you don’t even want to think about.
Below find six truths about water pipe bursts and related home damage.
From the Files of Homeowner Insurance Claims:
• Among winter’s chief causes of property damage are frozen burst pipes.
• 37 percent of frozen water pipe damage comes from the basement or lower level of the home.
• Property damage from burst water pipes have been known to be very costly, often exceeding the $5,000 mark.
• The freezing point for water is thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
• In general, a standard home insurance policy does not protect against damage resulting from a burst pipe.
For homeowners, landlords and renters, beware of water pipes lie within spots that are not heated. Places such as an attic, a crawl space or outside walls that bear the full brunt of winter’s wrath increase the risk of pipe bursts. While a plumbing contractor might be able to re-line the piping to warmer zones of the home, the job may not always be a feasible undertaking.
So, here are other ideas brought to you from the insurance guys on how to minimize associated risks.
Six Ways to Keep Water Pipes from Bursting in Cold Weather
1. Place insulation around the pipes to keep them from freezing.
2. Plug outside holes and those in the structure’s foundation with calking.
3. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets so that house heat can circulate thoroughly.
4. Allow a slow flow of water from sink taps when the weather gets exceptionally cold.
5. If you go on vacation do not leave the house heat low enough to cause pipe freezing.
6. Consider emptying out your water system before leaving on vacation. To do this, shut off the main valve and turn on water faucets; turn off when water no longer flows.
To find out if your home has the right coverage for your individual liability risks, have an experienced independent agency review your policy. By educating yourself about your auto, business, home, and life insurance needs, you become your own insurance advocate.