By the time Mrs. Jones pipes burst, it was too late...
The family photo albums were spared, but as the boxes of Christmas decorations and treasured childhood toys floated around the basement, the famous last words of her sister-in-law rang in her ears;
“Leave a stream of cold water running. It’ll keep the pipes from freezing.” That, and “The meatloaf could’ve used more salt,” ... but that’s another issue entirely
The Point of Our Cautionary Tale
Sometimes it’s just a temporary inconvenience. Sometimes it’s a full-on disaster. Either way, frozen pipes are such a pain in the claim.
When water in your pipes freeze, it expands, putting tons of pressure on your pipes. Meaning: if your pipes didn’t burst this time, they may be weakened and break the next time they freeze.
Prevent the pressure with these warm tips from our Wedgwood team. This month our featured team mate is Donna Hayward, an avid gardener, a captain of her neighborhood watch, and makes a mean pea soup with dumplings. Donna's also got a lot to say about protecting your home.
Winter Attacks Part II: The Nightmare Returns
Know when you need a hot shower the most?
After slogging around in a basement that’s been flooded with freezing water from a burst pipe. Here’s how it starts: you turn on the tap and all you get is a trickle. You’ve probably got frozen pipes.
We hear from clients every winter about a burst pipe and the headaches that come with it, from cleanup to losing those stored family treasures to the costly and potentially-hazardous mold mitigation. Wedgwood is here to help you prevent the problem with tips that range from simple to significant!
Before The Frost Bites
- When you move in, check for pipes in exterior walls, the basement or crawlspace, or anywhere you think will get really cold in the winter, since they’re going to be the most likely culprits.
- Consider installing a pipe sleeve, heat cable or tape, or even wrap a ¼ inch of newspaper or a pool noodle around your pipes to add a layer of insulation. Bonus* Insulating those chilly areas will save you money on heating costs
- Leave the tap open on a slow drip to keep water flowing. You needn’t leave it running all winter, just when it is especially cold. Open cabinet doors in your kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room to allow warm air to circulate
- If you’re going out of town a few days, leave your heat on; at least 68 degrees should keep warm air moving around the house. Check your policy for your responsibilities, you may not be covered if you go away and the pipes burst because it’s too cold.
- Outside the house, make sure you disconnect hoses and install covers on the outside faucets
Too Little, Too Late
If it’s too late for these preventative measures and your pipes are already frozen, open the tap to allow pressure to escape and place a space heater near the area you think is frozen
Always consider electrical safety since condensation may form and drip off the pipes!
You can also wrap a heating pad or towels soaked in hot water around the pipes and hopefully the water will come back in short order.
"If your pipes are frozen, apply heat. NEVER never use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame, you could run a whole host of problems from melting your plastic pipes to burning the house down. If in doubt, call a licensed plumber and we can help get the water running again"
Free Flowing Ideas
Note that a small crack in a pipe causing a slow leak may not be covered by your insurance policy. So, if you’re concerned about frozen pipes, get in touch with Wedgwood Insurance to get all the details on your policy.
We're here to help prevent the claim and keep your water flowing freely through the winter. Get in touch to talk about how we can help you. It only takes a minute.
Until next time in the Wedgwood Life Series,
Donna Hayward, and the Wedgwood Team