Pipes That Are Vulnerable to Freezing
There are some pipes that are more vulnerable to freezing than others:
•Southern Climates- Pipes that are located in climates which rarely see cold temperatures may be particularly vulnerable to freezing.
This is due to the lack of insulation around the pipes. Since these areas rarely see temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes
are more likely to be located in areas of the property which are not properly insulated against the cold.
•Exterior Walls- Water pipes that are located along the exterior walls of a home can be vulnerable to freezing. This is because they may not
have the adequate amount of insulation protecting them from the exterior temperatures.
•Attics and Basements- Pipes that are located in attics or in basements may also have a greater tendency to freeze. These pipes may not receive
the same amount of heat as the rest of the property. If these areas are not used as living space, they also may not be properly insulated.
How to Protect your Pipes
• Wrap outdoor pipes and faucets with newspaper, foam, rags or other insulating material. To keep the insulation in place, secure it with string, wire or tape.
• Unhook any outdoor water hoses to your faucets. When you use your hose and turn the spigot off, there is still water in the wrapped-up hose, including water still in the line going to the spigot. This water can freeze causing the water in the pipes to crack.
• Open doors under your sinks to provide warm air circulation.
• Circulate the water in your home by dripping at least one sink.
• Keep the temperature at 55 degrees or warmer in your home.
• If a leak is detected inside the home, shut off the water to the house immediately to prevent further damage and contact your plumber.
• Do not dispose of any items without the prior approval of your insurance adjuster.
4 Signs of Frozen Pipes
There are a few clues which can help you determine if you have frozen pipes at your property:
•The Temperature Is Right- Pipes cannot freeze if it is not cold enough outside for them to do so. Water does not freeze when it is 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and neither do pipes. When the temperature falls to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you should begin to take precautions to prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing.
•There Is Frost on the Pipe- For pipes that can actively be seen, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated on the exterior of the pipe. This can serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you ever try to turn on the faucet.
•No Water Is Coming Out of the Faucet- Another sign that you may have a frozen pipe on your hands is lack of running water. If you or a tenant turn on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and only a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.
•Strange Smells- A forth potential sign of a blocked pipe is an odd smell coming from a faucet or drain. If the pipe is partially or completely blocked, the only way the odor can escape is back up in the direction of your property.
Once you are aware that a pipe is frozen, you must act quickly to thaw the pipe. Depending on the location of the pipe and your level of expertise,
you can attempt to thaw the pipe yourself or you can contact a licensed plumber to thaw the pipe for you. It is imperative to thaw the pipe as soon
as possible, because it has the potential to burst and cause extensive damage to your property.
Will Insurance Cover It?
You need to call your insurance agent to determine the specific details of your policy. Some policies have specific requirements you must
follow in order to be covered, such as maintaining the heat at a certain temperature in your home or shutting off the water supply during
absence from your home to prevent a potential flooding issue. An insurance company wants to see that you took reasonable measures to prevent
a problem from occurring.
If you have any questions or need to file a claim contact our agency HIG-Henrich Insurance Group 713-349-0400 www.HIGTexas.com