Thursday, January 11, 2018

There are several ways to reduce your chances of frozen pipes

Taking steps now can save you thousands down the road

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

Southern New England residents far and wide were at the mercy of a record-long cold snap that originated from the Rocky Mountains in early January. The breathtaking cold forced Rhode Islanders to bundle up more carefully, but for some it also caused frozen pipes that could cost homeowners thousands of dollars. To help families prevent frozen pipes this season, Blais Insurance would like to share some suggestions that can help you avoid costly repairs.

Many of the precautions to prevent frozen pipes stem from our knowledge about water. Water is unique because, when it freezes, it expands. That expansion adds incredible pressure that eventually leads to cracking or bursting pipes.

While many homeowners let the faucet drip during the colder days, Blais Insurance would like to provide additional preventative measures that can help you keep more money in your pocket this winter. 

  • Drain water from all the water supply lines at your home. This extends to water that may be resting in sprinkler systems, water lines to the family pool, and other systems not traditionally used in the winter.
  • Insulate pipes that are exposed to the harsh elements of winter. Depending on the size of your home, the cost of insulating the basement, attic and some crawl spaces can be less than the average cost of fixing a ruptured pipe — which costs $5,000 on average. 
  • Doors to unconnected garages that have a water line should remain closed during the winter. Ensuring the doors are closed will aid in keeping out some of the cold.
  • On frigid nights when temperatures may dip into the single digits, homeowners can reduce the chance of frozen pipes in their home by opening cabinet doors where pipes are easily visible. The reason for this is that heat from your home will circulate into the small space.
  • Thermostats should remain consistent throughout the day and night during cold temperatures. Without realizing the potential damage that may be caused from frozen pipes, many homeowners looking to reduce their energy bill might lower their heat when they are away or sleeping. To be on the safe side, homeowners should always maintain their thermostat above the 55 degree mark.
  • Homeowners can help prevent frozen pipes by turning on the warm and cold water faucet to a trickle.
  • For an extra step beyond letting the faucet drip, worried homeowners can wrap their indoor pipes in the kitchen and bathroom with newspaper. Newspaper material is widely regarded as a basic form of insulation because of its thermal and electric resistant properties.

With the new year ahead and the season of giving behind us, many families in the United States are watching their wallets. Committed to protecting your family against the harsh cold and risk of financial loss, as well as the general disruption of life associated with a significant frozen pipe water loss, Blais Insurance is here with a team of dedicated professionals that are looking out for your best interests. Speak with a Blais Insurance agent to learn about other hazards in the winter, and how our insurance packages have you covered.