This has been a long, cold winter, and it is not over yet. During periods of extreme cold, it's up to you to see to your home's safety and security. One task you'll likely need to undertake is protecting your plumbing and pipe systems.
Periods of extreme cold can cause harm to your plumbing. After all, liquid water can freeze. Should it freeze in your pipes, the chances of pipe damage increase. The effects of damaged pipes could wreak havoc on your home.
What Causes Frozen Pipes?
Exposed pipes, such as those above ground, remain more vulnerable to temperature changes than underground or insulated pipes. During extreme cold, water in the pipes might not have the insulation it needs to remain solvent. As freezing temperatures cool the piping itself, the water is likely to freezing within this shell.
One of water's unique properties is that it expands as it freezes. You might have noticed this quality if you've ever frozen water in a paper cup. The expanding water might cause the cup to rupture because it cannot the water anymore. Unfortunately, the same circumstances might happen to your plumbing.
As water expands, even the strongest pipes can have a hard time withstanding the strain. If the pressure becomes too great, it could cause the pipes to rupture. Burst pipes might lead to drops in water pressure, flooding and contamination in your home. Burst pipes are often a difficult mess to contain and clean up.
The Effects of Frozen Pipes
Should a pipe burst in your home, it will cause an imminent problem. Some of the damage that might result includes:
- Destruction of your clothing or possessions
- Water accumulation in the house
- Damage to paint, woodwork, and the home's structure
- The development of mold, mildew or water-borne pest infestations
- Plumbing damage requiring considerable repair work
These damages are inconvenient and can be costly.
Are Frozen Pipes Covered Under Insurance?
You might assume that your homeowners insurance policy will cover damage. And many homeowners policies will indeed cover burst pipe damages. Still, certain policies might exclude coverage if you didn't take proper steps to maintain pipe integrity and the home’s temperature.
Therefore, it is your responsibility to prevent burst pipes. Common prevention practices include wrapping pipes in an insulating material, leaving streams of water flowing through faucets and exposing the pipes to warm air.
In the event that burst pipes do occur, contact Lancette Agency. One of our agents will be happy to discuss your options.