Burst Pipes: Ways To Prevent Damage


Burst pipes

Water Expands Nine Percent When Frozen

Burst pipes can occur any time of year, but your home is more vulnerable during the winter months when freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Did you know that a gallon of water expands by nine percent when frozen?  Imagine what happens to pipes when temperatures drop below freezing for a sustained period of time.  Paying attention to weather forecasts during the winter is especially important so you can take preventative steps to avoid burst pipes.

Burst pipes can lead to extensive water damage if left undetected for a prolonged period of time.  A one-eighth inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day. The damage can affect flooring, walls, and contents in your home.  Beyond the inconvenience of time and money spent to clean up and repair the damage, there is also the risk of harmful mold growing in as little as twenty-four to forty-eight hours and colonizing in one to twelve days.

Here are some tips to prevent burst pipes:

  • Maintain heat in your home at all times. 40 degrees or higher prevents the risk of burst pipes.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located. Check for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
  • Let faucets drip. A small trickle of water is best.
  • Install insulated pipe covers around pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors allowing warm air to circulate around plumbing pipes.

Most homeowners’ policy will cover both mitigation (drying of affected areas) and repairs. Outside pipes are not covered so if underground pipes burst and leak contact your local Public Works department to determine who is responsible for the repair.

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Shari Glover SpeaksShari Glover is licensed insurance agent in  Kennesaw, GA .  Shari is passionate about helping families and businesses protect what matters the most to them. Through her agency, she is able to help families and individuals with Home, Auto, Life and Business Insurance.

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