5 Easy Ways to Prevent Home Damage from Frozen Pipes

WomanFixingPipe

Do you remember Virginia's extended arctic freeze last winter? Those frigid January temperatures resulted in over 500 NNINS home water damage claims from frozen and burst pipes.

The truth is, many Virginia homes weren't built for the threat of long-lasting freezing temperatures. That can mean you have pipes running through uninsulated areas of your home like an attic, crawl space, garage, and basement. And these spaces become vulnerable in colder than average weather. Even pipes located on the outside insulated walls of your home may be in danger of freezing if temperatures get cold enough. 

 

Leaking Pipes

 

Researchers at the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) have found that an outdoor temperature of 20 degrees F is the critical threshold for vulnerable home water pipes. So, whether you're going on a trip, have a rental property, or simply have concerns about the pipes in your Virginia home, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent costly damage this winter.

 

Ways to Protect Home Pipes

  1. Keep your garage closed.
  2. Use foam pipe insulators for vulnerable pipes in or close to uninsulated areas.
  3. Open your cabinet doors- kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity doors can be left open to let your  home's heated air flow in and around those pipes.
  4.  Let your faucets drip slowly during extreme deep freezes and the coldest temperatures overnight.
  5. Winterize your outdoor hose bibs.

 

Pipe Insulation

                              Pipe Insulators

 

If these measures don't prevent a pipe from freezing, consult a licensed plumber. The plumbing may need to be relocated or insulated differently.

It's important to know that an insurance claim may not be covered if you vacate a property for long periods and do not properly prepare your home for cold weather. If you are leaving a home for a extended period of time, maintain a temperature of 55 degrees F or above and consult a plumber that can recommend extra measures to protect plumbing.

 

Fix your pipes

 

We hope Virginia is spared from another arctic freeze this winter and your home's plumbing is spared as well. If you think you have a frozen pipe, we have helpful hints. If you end up with a ruptured pipe, we have help for that too and as always, we're here for you if you need to file a claim. Just contact your independent agent or give us a call!

Learn more about homeowners insurance in Virginia >

NNINS Blog Home >