We in Pennsylvania know all to well the dangers of frozen temperatures during the winter months. We know how to protect ourselves from the dangers but it is also necessary to protect our homes from the cold. Preparing a home for winter can help avoid potential costly problems like frozen pipes. The average claim for damage from a frozen pipe is roughly $18,000, although costs can vary widely, according to The Hartford’s analysis of 5 years of winter claims data (review included claims from Dec. – Mar.).
Why so costly? Repairing the actual broken pipe is often the least costly part of such a claim, said John Kinney, The Hartford’s chief claims officer. The damage to home fixtures and finishes from the flooding water is the main reason why it is so costly. “The most expensive part is repairing the flooring and drywall,” John says.
Mihalko’s Fire & Water Restoration Division was started in 1992 with a true need from insurance companies and adjusters. Over the years we have seen the destruction of water damage that frozen pipes can do to a home. We like to simply give one piece of advice. Be proactive and prepare.
What’s the best way to prevent frozen pipes?
Make sure the heat in your home is working properly and pipes that run close to exterior walls, are insulated. If they are not insulated, wrap the exposed pipes with insulation sleeves to slow the heat transfer. Seal any cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near pipes with caulking. When temperatures dip to bitter cold, one tip is to keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the water pipes
If you are out of town for a few days in the winter, make sure you leave the heat on (normal room temperature) and have someone check-in on the house if possible. If you are expecting to be away for an extended period of time, have your water turned off.
Winter in our region can be unexpected and damage to our homes are not always preventable. If you happen to have any type of water damage just give us a call at Mihalko’s and we’ll be happy to help you.