Winter Hazards: Preventing Burst Pipes & Protecting Your Plumbing


Protecting Your Plumbing

Ask whoever and they’ll agree that dealing with the damages, expenses, and mess caused by a burst pipe is an absolute nightmare. Burst pipes can lead to a myriad of home issues. Water from the pipe could flood your homes basement, damage walls or ceilings, and damage any items near the burst. Thankfully, all of this trouble can be easily avoided. What causes pipes to burst? How can you avoid this happening in your home or business?




What causes pipes to burst?


Burst pipes are a winter phenomenon because water expands when frozen. Have you ever left a soda can in the freezer too long and seen it come out warped or burst? This is exactly what happens with water pipes during the winter. The water in the pipe freezes and expands putting pressure on the pipe.

When should you be concerned? Water begins to freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, pipes inside your home are usually protected from the harsh conditions by the structure and insulation. That being said, just because it's freezing outside does not mean your pipes will freeze also.

Most plumbers agree that when outside temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit and less is when homeowners should be concerned about pipes bursting. Although this is the general rule, temperatures can vary depending on how well protected and insulated your pipes are. Here are some ways you can protect your home against burst pipes.


Precautions

  1. Keep Water Faucets Dripping

Keeping the faucets slowly dripping allows the water to keep flowing in your pipes.

  1. Leave Cabinet Doors Open

Leaving cabinet doors open allows the warm area from your home to reach your pipes and keep them warm.

  1. Disconnect Hose From the Outside Faucet

Make sure to disconnect your outside hoses. This allows water to drain out of your hose bib and not expand inside and break it.


  1. Seal Leaks that Allow Cold Air Inside

Check for leaks that may let warm air out of your home. Focus especially on areas where pipes are located. You can also look around electric wiring and dryer vents. Using caulk or insulation are two ways to block these warm air leaks.

  1. Call a Plumber

A licensed plumbing will be able to locate pipes with the potential to burst and find a way to prevent this. Getting your home checked by a plumber before winter temperatures drop below freezing levels.

  1. Cover Pipes with Insulation

Covering pipes with insulation will keep them better protected from the cold weather outside. Foam insulation can be easily cut with a utility knife and comes premade in long strips.


Protecting your Home

We can all agree burst pipes are no fun at any point much less in the dead of winter. We hope these tips on protecting you water pipes and home from water damage helps your home and toasty and dry this winter. However, despite everyone’s best efforts sometimes things just go wrong. Before they do make sure your home and processions are completely covered by your homeowners insurance. Claims can often be more serious and cost more than many anticipate. Here at Southern Insurance providing complete coverage for our clients is a top priority. For a free quote contact us online at Southins.com or give us a call at (423) 296-0626.


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