How to avoid frozen pipes:

An average of 250 million homes each winter experience water damage because of pipes that freeze and burst. Even in Texas the threat is real, because while our winter weather is mild compared to other areas in the country, our home building codes aren’t as strict for cold weather.

First some facts from research at the University of Illinois and

1) “It’s not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream”

2) From “Water pipes in houses in southern climates often are more vulnerable to winter cold spells. The pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of the building insulation, and homeowners tend to be less aware of freezing problems, which may occur only once or twice a season.”

3) 20 degrees F is the temperature that the research at the University of Illinois suggest as the temp to start being alert of freezing pipes.

A few loss control steps can go a long way in preventing a loss.

1) Insulate pipes. In Texas homes are often built with little to no attention to if exposed pipes are insulated. You will want to pay attention to crawl spaces, garages and attics. These areas don’t receive heat from the living space of the home and are most susceptible to freezing.

2) Sealing. Sealing leaks of cold air in areas where exposed pipes are located will reduce the chance for a pipe burst.

3) Disconnect the garden hose and cover with an outside faucet cover.

4) Set thermostat to no lower than 55 F. Most insurance policies exclude coverage for a bursting pipe when heat is not maintained at a premise.

5) If you leave town make sure to have a neighbor or friend check on your home and/or shut off your water supply.

6) Dripping. Opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. Even very little flow will allow the pressure to release.

If you still experience a water claim, make sure to turn off the water main, take steps to prevent further damage, and contact your insurance company to file a claim.

Paprocki Insurance Agency serves Bee Cave, Lakeway, Spicewood and the Lake Travis area.

We take an old-fashioned approach of getting to know our clients while at the same time leveraging technology to provide prompt service, and convenience to our clients.

Paprocki Insurance Agency offers the full spectrum of insurance products including auto, home, life, health, and commercial, as well as insurance for “toys” – things like boats, motorcycles, and RVs.

Most important, we stand firmly behind all our policies, providing 24/7 claims service to help you every step of the way.

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