Damage resulting from frozen pipes is costly. According to the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC) broken water pipes rank No. 2 behind hurricanes for both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claim cost in the U.S. The damage that broken pipes cause can be devastating and repairs can cost around $50,000. Common damage resulting from frozen pipes are ruined drywall, moldy wallpaper, warped kitchen cabinets, ruined carpets and draperies, destroyed photos; paperwork, antiques , furniture and clothing. Mold and mildew are a major concern after a ruptured pipe and can cause homes to be gutted.
The IINC provides some helpful tips to prevent possible damage from frozen pipes:
1. Disconnect all garden hoses and other outside hose connections. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
2. Insulate all exposed pipes located in your basement, under your home, on outside walls or in attics. For pipes with northern exposures, use heat tape according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Improper usage may cause a fire.)
3. Set the thermostat to at least 55, degrees even when your home is vacant or unoccupied during the winter. If you plan to be away during cold-weather months, have someone regularly check your home to make sure it’s staying warm enough to prevent freezing.
4. Winterize sprinkler systems according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Blowing out excess water with a compressor may be the best way to prevent frozen and broken pipes. If you have a swamp cooler, winterize it by disconnecting the water source and clearing the line.
5. Very important is knowing how to shut off the water supply if a pipe bursts. Quick action can minimize damage.
Take all precautions, if the pipes burst it is going to be costly.