As a local home insurance provider, we know winter weather can take its toll on Virginia homes. We highly recommend prioritizing basic winterizing to your home to avoid more costly repairs this winter. We also know everything is so expensive and the holidays are coming. If you don't have extra money set aside for essential home maintenance right now, there's one thing we can recommend you absolutely shouldn't skip. Protect your plumbing. It's actually really inexpensive!
Frozen pipes are a top winter home insurance claim
Homeowners insurance claims tell us home fire prevention during winter is super important. Still, frozen pipes are among the most common and expensive winter home damage risks for a home when temperatures in Virginia drop. Do you remember the Commonwealth's extended arctic freeze in 2018? Even with home heat systems humming, those frigid January temperatures resulted in more than five hundred NNINS home water damage claims from frozen and burst pipes.
Why do home pipes in Virginia freeze?
Most Virginia homes weren't built to sustain long-lasting freezing temperatures because we typically have a milder climate. You may have pipes running through uninsulated areas of your home, like an attic, crawl space, garage, or basement. These spaces become vulnerable in colder than average weather. Even pipes located on the insulated exterior walls of your home may be in danger of freezing if temperatures stay cold for an extended period. To avoid a post-holiday $500 insurance deductible, start with a simple and inexpensive fix.
How to prevent home pipes from freezing
For less than $5, you can protect vulnerable pipes with pipe insulators from your local hardware store. We recommend heavy-duty R4 insulators. R-value measures a material's ability to slow down heat flow. The higher the number, the better. It's essential to pick the correct size for your pipes (either ½ or ¾ of an inch).
It's always a good idea to ensure all your home's exterior walls, attic, and basement are properly insulated. That's a good job for a professional. Once you've protected vulnerable pipes, they are unlikely to freeze. If you are still concerned during an extended freeze, there are other ways to prevent freezing pipes to avoid water damage. If you do suspect a frozen pipe, take action right away to prevent costly damage to your home.
Does home insurance cover burst pipes?
It's important to know that an insurance claim may not be covered if you vacate a property for an extended period and do not adequately prepare your home for cold weather. Plan for an extended trip by consulting a professional plumber who can recommend extra measures to protect your pipes while you're away.