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Steffey Insurance > News  > Frozen Pipes Prevention

Frozen Pipes Prevention

With intense weather conditions threatening Indianapolis, the Mid West, and the New England area, we wanted to try to get some information to our customers on how to prevent frozen pipes.  Please enjoy this information courtesy of our friends at PuroClean.  Thank you so much!

Here is some useful information for you and your clients on frozen pipes prevention:

Property damage caused by freezing weather occurs more frequently and creates greater damage than is commonly thought. When water freezes, its volume increases by approximately eleven percent (11%), and this expansion exerts tremendous force. This force is sufficient to break concrete or even steel! When even a small amount of water enters a structure and freezes, the resulting expansion further damages and weakens the structure, allowing more water to enter. The damage cycle continues until the source problem (the initial entry point) is repaired.

Virtually all plumbing lines are placed inside of walls and are not visible. As a result, a freeze-caused leak is only discovered when water damage to floors, carpet, walls, or ceilings becomes visible. Occasionally, the sound of spraying water can be heard, but by then it may already be too late. The leak would have already caused some degree of damage.

Winter wind, snow, and ice storms frequently damage electric power lines and equipment, resulting in interruptions of electric power. Most heating systems depend on electricity, and when the power goes off, so does the heat. In severe cold weather, this can result in extensive freeze damage before power is restored.

Here are some helpful hints to prevent frozen pipes:

  • ·         Check around the home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas such as the basement, crawl space, attic, garage and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  Consider insulating these pipes to prevent freezing.   Specific products such as a “pipe sleeve” or UL-listed “heat tape” can be used.
  • ·         Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water lines in the garage.
  • ·         Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing (make sure to keep harmful cleaners or chemicals out of the reach of children).
  • ·         When weather is extremely cold, let the cold water drip from the faucet.
  • ·         Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both day and night.  A slightly higher heating bill is far less than the cost to repair water damage resulting from frozen pipes.
  • ·         Click here for more helpful information from the Red Cross on preventing and thawing frozen pipes:  www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes
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Steffey Hatoway
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