During the cold winter months here in New Hampshire, frozen pipes become a significant risk that property owners face. As water freezes, it expands and can cause pipes to burst when combined with extreme pressure, causing significant water damage to your home or other type of property. In most cases, pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures, such as swimming pool and water sprinkler lines, are more likely to freeze. Pipes that run along your home’s exterior walls with minimal insulation are also more prone to freezing. Review the following tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing as temperatures continue to drop:
1. Insulate pipes in unheated interior areas of your home, such as attics and crawl spaces.
2. Keep cabinet doors open when possible to expose your pipes to warmer air.
3. Wrap pipes in heat tape.
4. Check for leaks and seal any you find with insulation or caulk.
5. Let a little water trickle out of your faucets periodically to keep it moving inside the pipes.
6. If there is a water supply in your garage, keep the garage door closed.
7. Disconnect all outdoor items like faucets and hoses. Be sure to shut them off completely using an indoor valve and allowing the excess water to drain out.
8. Going away on vacation? It’s fine to turn your heat down to save money, but do not set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted neighbor, friend or relative to periodically check the temperature in your home while you’re gone.
If, despite taking these recommended precautions, you turn on a faucet and no water or only a trickle comes out, your pipes may be frozen. If this occurs, first turn off the main water valve, keeping the faucet on. Apply heat to the pipe, whether by using an electric heating pad, hair dryer or portable space heater, or be wrapping the pipe in towels soaked in hot water. Apply heat until you regain water pressure, and if this fails, contact a professional to come inspect your pipes.
At the Barton Insurance Agency, we’re here to help make sure your valuables are covered for mishaps like burst pipes. To review your current New Hampshire homeowners insurance coverage or to get a free insurance quote, call us today at 603-526-6991 or submit the contact form to the right.
For additional safety tips, please review our other blog posts, or connect with us on Facebook. To get a free insurance quote, please call us today at 603-526-6991 or click here to submit our online quote request form.