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Preventing Frozen and Burst Water Pipes

The frigid temperatures of winter put your pipes at risk of damage. Every year, an average of a quarter of a million American families experience damage to their homes due to frozen and burst pipes. Here are some tips to help you safeguard your home:

Prevent Pipe Freezing

  • Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home, including the basement
  • Keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or with heating tape
  • Disconnect outside garden hoses
  • Shut off water supply valves if you plan on being away for an extended period of time
  • Allow a faucet to drip slightly in order to minimize pressure and freezing

If a Pipe Freezes

  • Use towels soaked in hot water to thaw the pipe
  • Do NOT use any open flame to attempt to thaw the pipe
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored

If a Pipe Bursts

  • Turn off water at the main valve
  • If it’s a hot water pipe that’s burst, you should also close the valve attached to your hot water heater
  • Do NOT thaw the burst pipe if it is still frozen
  • Remove soaked carpets, furniture, and other removable items
  • Clean up any standing water
  • Use fans and/or dehumidifiers to ventilate and dry the area
  • Contact your insurance agency

A burst pipe is every homeowner’s nightmare, but taking the proper precautions can help to mitigate the risk. To learn more about how homeowner’s insurance can protect you from burst pipes and other disasters, contact The Reis Group today.


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