How to keep pipes from freezing this winter (and avoid pricey insurance claims)
Every winter, a quarter-million families find their pipes freezing over — ending up with insurance claims that, in Delaware, average out to about $21,000 per claim.
Even a tiny crack of one-eighth of an inch can be a serious headache, spraying over 250 gallons of water a day onto floors, carpets and furniture, according to State Farm.
What causes pipes to freeze? Exposure and inadequate insulation are the key factors, and thankfully, there’s something you can do about it.
First, make sure to insulate any water pipes that could be exposed to cold air. This includes pipes you can see in crawl spaces, basements, or near outside walls.
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Not sure where to find wall insulation? Try pipe wrap or foam pipe sleeves available for pick up at your local hardware store.
Don’t forget to check for cracks and gaps in your insulation that could also bring in cold air. Make sure to seal those up, too.
Another tip — let warm water from your faucets drip overnight. If you’ve got important pipes inside your cabinets or under the sink, leave the doors open overnight to expose them to hot air.
Finally, make sure your home itself is above freezing, and your thermostat stays set above 55ºF.
Contact Joy Ashford at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @joy_ashford.