How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Oct 21, 2019

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

The colder the weather gets the higher the chances are that your interior pipes will freeze, burst and fill your home with water resulting in thousands of dollars of repairs. Think that escalated quickly? You might be surprised how many New Yorkers struggle to keep their interior pipes from freezing, but there are several steps you can take to prevent this from happening. 

Inspect and add insulation 

One of the biggest factors in freezing pipes is poor or damaged insulation. Before the temperatures drop, you can work to mitigate or avoid frozen pipes by evaluating and inspecting your home’s insulation. If you’ve had issues with frozen pipes in the past years or if the home is new to you - you should have a professional inspect and install new insulation. You may also want to consider placing insulating sleeves around pipes as a temporary and additional insulation solution. 

Turn up the heat

Some of us might be a little more apt to turn off the heat when we’re out of the house to conserve our fuel (of choice) and quite frankly, our budgets. But… coming home to a couple thousand dollars’ worth of water damage isn’t too ideal either. You can work to prevent this issue by installing a programmable thermostat to keep the house a consistent temperature... or at the very least, above freezing. The ideal temperature is 55°. PRO TIP: Spend less on heating for years to come by installing well insulated windows, doors and adding additional or new insulation! Want a little more control than what is offered with a programmable thermostat? Try Home Automation tools! 

Let faucets drip

Are your pipes prone to freezing and adding insulation isn’t in the plans for this year? Another helpful tip is letting your faucets drip or trickle. A constant flow of water is less likely to freeze than stagnant water in a cold pipe. Please note this is a temporary measure to be taken only as a last stop precaution rather than long term solution. 

Open cabinet doors

Another great short-term solution is simply opening cabinet doors under sinks to allow the heat from your home to reach them. In addition to opening cabinet doors you should also keep doors throughout the home open to allow heat to circulate throughout, rather than getting trapped in certain areas.

Frozen pipes aren’t just hassle for you, they can become the root of destruction of your home if not properly taken care of. If you come home to water damage as the result of a broken pipe be sure to call in professionals to help. As a precautionary measure, be sure that you have developed a home inventory list of all of your valuables. You can even take photos or videos. Things like this can be extremely helpful tools to have on hand when submitting a claim.