Cold Weather Tips to Protect Your Pipes

Cold weather can spell disaster for the pipes in any home or business. As water freezes, it expands, causing pressure to build inside pipes, which could lead to a breakage. Pipes in uninsulated areas such as in basements or crawlspaces, as well as those outside like a hose connection, are more likely to have the water inside freeze than those inside a heated building.

Here are some simple tips to protect your pipes:

  • Keep the temperature set no lower than 55 degrees if your home or building will be unoccupied.
  • Insulate any pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures, even ones inside that are located near exterior walls.
  • Keep the hot and cold water faucets open to a small trickle. This is enough water flowing through the pipes to prevent a buildup of pressure.
  • For exterior spigots, first turn off the valve inside. Then drain the water from the outside to clear the pipes.
  • If you opt to turn the water off to your building, be sure any automatic sprinkler systems will still function.
  • If your home or building will be unattended during a cold snap, be sure to have someone check on it regularly.
  • Check your insurance policy to make sure you have the appropriate coverage for water damage due to a burst pipe, just in case!

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take a few minutes before extreme cold strikes to protect your building, your home, and, ultimately, everything inside.

All insurance policies are different. Be sure to review your insurance policy for specific information about coverages available to you. Nothing in this post is meant to suggest a guarantee of coverage.