Frozen Pipes: Insurance Coverage, Prevention, and Thawing

January 30, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Frozen pipes can cause stressful situations in your home. Luckily a frozen pipe is not necessarily a cracked or burst pipe. And here’s more good news: the damage from frozen pipes is covered by your homeowner policy as long as proper measures were taken to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Listed below are some tips for routine maintenance that can prevent frozen pipes:

  • Maintain your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees at all times.
  • Wrap any exposed pipes located in the basement, garage, or on exterior walls that are not well insulated.
  • If you have a faucet served by pipes that is exposed to unheated areas, such as a garage or on an exterior wall that is not well insulated, turn the faucet to a slow trickle to help prevent the pipe from freezing – especially overnight when the temperature can plummet.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes located in these areas.

If you suspect that your pipes have frozen, inspect the pipe to try to locate the frozen area and to make sure the pipe has not cracked or burst. Here are some tips on how to thaw a frozen pipe:

  • Turn the faucet to the open position so steam produced by your thawing activities will be able to escape.
  • The safest pipe thawing option is to wrap and secure a heavy towel around the pipe.  Place a bucket under the pipe to catch the runoff and then pour hot or boiling water over the towel.
  • A less messy way is to use a heat lamp or a hair dryer. Be careful to keep any electrical device safely away from any water source.

If you can’t locate the frozen pipe or suspect that they may have burst or cracked, turn off the water main shutoff valve and consult a professional plumber immediately.

Call Protector Group at 888-850-9400 with any questions you may have regarding your specific coverage.


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