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Bursting Winter Pipes: What You Can Do About It

Aug 18, 2007
Most experience homeowners know all about this water damage prevention necessity, but anyone who's just beginning to live in a new home or a rental might not think about it.

The winter is a crucial time for the water system in your home and if it's not taken care of, some pretty big problems will ensue.

This happens when the temperature outside reaches under 20 degrees, water pipes located underneath your house, in the basement, or any other area that is exposed to the elements can freeze and burst, spilling water everywhere.

Any water pipes that you can easily gain access to should be covered completely with insulation of some kind and the more warm air that can reach your pipes during the winter, the less of a chance the pipes have of freezing and rupturing.

Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets whenever it's convenient and leave them that way as long as possible to make sure the pipes inside of them get at least a little warm air. Sometimes using space heaters can help keep pipes from freezing, so keeping one in the kitchen or wherever you have pipes exposed can be a fair idea, as long a few feet away from anything that can catch on fire.

If you have any water hoses connected to the house, be sure to disconnect them before the freezing weather hits.

Try to leave a trickle of water running through your faucets at all times during the winter; it doesn't have to be very much at all and it might cause your water bill to be a tiny bit extra at the end of the month, but it's worth it. The water running through the pipes is less likely to freeze than water that's standing still inside them.

Water damage is generally covered under most insurance policies depending on how you report it, but one of the things that is usually a direct result of water damage, mold, is not.

Unless you pay for a special policy that covers mold, most homeowner's insurance policies don't cover it. Mold is expensive to get rid of and when a cracked or ruptured pipe in your wall or under your house bursts during the winter, it's a very real threat.

Your family and pets will become sick over time if the mold isn't removed as quickly as possible, so doing your best to prevent water damage to your home is the first line of defense. It can start to grow as quickly as 48 hours after water has been soaked up by a surface like sheetrock.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
water damage restoration and
mold remediation companies across the united states.
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