It is that time of year again. Dropping temps will start to freeze pipes which due to the pressure of the ice within them will burst or split.  Only after the thaw do the pipes start to leak or spray.  Sometimes it is a pin hole leak which causes damage over time.  Other times it floods the basement for months until you arrive back from your winter residence or vacation.  How do you prevent all this damage, clean up expense and your time and expense of dealing with the flood?

Steps to Prevent Damage

One of the easiest steps for dealing with short cold bursts of winter weather is to keep the water running.  Having your faucets drip steadily, particularly the faucet furthest from where the water main enters the home, over night or during the cold snap will keep the water moving.  You may not need to drip all the faucets just the furthest one.  This will release pressure within the water lines and allow the ice and water to flow the length of the pipe rather than bulging out the sides of the pipe.

Another way to keep pipes from freezing is to insulate with foam or wrap heat tape ($50 – $200) around the pipes in area’s most likely to freeze.  Areas along within outside walls, exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home or pipes outside the home are all most susceptible to freezing.

Leaving for the Holidays?

Headed out of town for the cold snap?  Then set your heat no lower than 55 degrees, open all doors that have access to pipes so the heat can seep in those areas. Like under sinks.  Shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening up all faucets and flushing all toilets.

Hopefully we will not be hearing from you during this upcoming deep freeze.  All the best for surviving this week’s visit from Old Man Winter.


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Deland, Gibson: a Trusted Choice, Five Star Accredited independent insurance agency. Established in Massachusetts in 1900, Deland, Gibson is a 4th generation family-run insurance agency that has thrived working as a trusted advisor for its client base. We work with individuals and businesses to lower their Total Cost of Risk. We analyze a client’s direct and indirect costs and implement risk reduction plans to address areas of business, hazard, or strategic risk.