When temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, the possibility of pipes freezing increases. Water expands when it freezes, causing pipes to burst which can cause several thousand dollars of damages.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, burst pipes can most $5,000 or more in damages. Water damage from frozen pipes is a leading cause of homeowners insurance claims. If you live in an area that is prone to low winter temperatures, there are steps to prevent frozen pipes from causing great damages this winter.
Here’s what to do to avoid pipes freezing:
- Do not turn your thermostat below 60 degrees. This includes keeping the heat on even if you are not home.
- Drip your faucet to keep water flowing. The pressure release can help reduce the chance of pipes bursting.
- Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate and keep the pipes warm
- Use outdoor faucet covers or insulate exposed pipes with foam
- If pipes run under an attached garage, keep the garage door closed.
It is important to always maintain attics, basements, and crawl spaces properly insulated, especially in the winter. Proper insulation will keep these areas warmers when temperatures begin to drop in the winter. Homeowners can also seal cracks, windows and doors to keep warm air from escaping.
Your homeowners insurance will not pay for the repairs of frozen pipes. However, a homeowners insurance policy will pay for the water damage that is caused by burst pipes. Insured homeowners can file a water damage claim with their insurance company.
It is important to understand that if a homeowner is found to be negligent, the insurance provider will not pay for any damages. For example, if you turn off your heat and your pipes burst, the insurance will not cover water damages that result from this negligence.