Catastrophic flooding due to ruptured frozen pipes is one of the most common damage claims submitted on homeowner’s insurance policies. The average claim for water damage due to a frozen pipe exceeds $10,000. A broken water supply line can leak hundreds of gallons of water into your home, enough to cause severe damage to personal possessions and the home’s structure before the flow can be stopped. Professional water damage recovery services are usually required to remediate the short-term and long-term consequences of interior flooding. Pipes generally freeze due to prolonged temperatures of 20 degrees or below – conditions common to a Northern Michigan winter. Here are five ways to prevent frozen pipes this season:
- Insulate pipes routed through unconditioned zones such as crawl spaces and attics. Pipe insulation available at home centers can be applied to exposed spans of pipes. U.L.-approved heat tape that uses electricity to generate warmth may be used to keep particularly vulnerable spans from freezing.
- Seal leaks that admit frigid outdoor air into areas where water supply pipes are located. Use caulking or expandable spray foam to close structural gaps and cracks and openings around vent pipes, electrical conduits and other penetrations.
- Disconnect and drain residual water from outdoor lines including garden hoses and sprinkler lines. If possible, cut off household water to faucets mounted on the exterior of the home.
- When expected temperatures drop into the danger zone, open household taps to allow a continuous trickle of water.
- Set the thermostat to maintain consistent indoor temperature day and night whenever outdoor temperatures threaten to plunge to 20 degrees or lower. To keep temperatures in the perimeter of the house where pipes are routed in the safe range, avoid setting the thermostat back overnight.
For more information about preventing frozen pipes and the damage they cause, contact the professionals at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve served the homeowners of Grand Traverse County and surrounding area for more than 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preventing frozen pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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