As frigid temperatures descend on states across the country, the insurer reminds of the risk of frozen pipes.
AAA Insurance has issued a list of tips meant to help homeowners to protect their homes and possessions from damage that would occur if pipes were to freeze in the recent and upcoming dropping temperatures.
The Arctic blast making its way straight through the central US will worsen over the weekend.
“Freezing temperatures put your pipes at risk, and recovery can be difficult and costly,” explained AAA Insurance managing director Dan Scroggins. “Copper, iron and plastic pipes can burst. A crack as small as 1/8-inch can spew up to 250 gallons of water per day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the potential for mold.”
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As a result, the insurer is issuing advice to both Americans who are used to freezing temperatures and those who don’t usually experience it. This is specific to preventing pipes from freezing and bursting, to protect homes against damage and avoid the need to make a massive claim.
AAA Insurance recommends the following tips to help prevent water pips from freezing and bursting.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows where to find the shut-off valve and how to use it to turn off the water to the house.
- Check to ensure all crawlspace and attic pipes are insulated and insulate them if they’re not.
- Check around pipes for gaps that would allow cold outside air to get inside. Properly seal them as well as those around electrical wiring, gas pipes and clothes dryer vents. Insulation or caulking will do this job.
- Drain and disconnect garden hoses. Shut off the indoor valve to the outdoor faucets. Turn on the outside faucet until the pipe is drained. By emptying the pipe, it won’t have the chance to freeze and burst close to or inside the house.
- If there is a risk of a freeze in your area, turn on faucets connected with pipes in exterior walls, allowing them to drip, particularly overnight. By letting them drip instead of shutting them off completely, the water will move enough in the pipe to stop it from freezing.
- When the temperatures are tanking overnight, don’t turn the thermostat down overnight. Keeping up the temperature day and night can help to prevent pipes from freezing.\
- Keep cupboard doors open for cabinets containing pipes, such as those under sinks. This will allow the house’s warm air to keep them warm.
- If you will be leaving your home for an extended period of time, AAA Insurance advice said to make sure the heat is left on at least a certain amount to keep the pipes warm. If you’ll be gone several days, consider turning off the water to the house and emptying the pipes.