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Winter-Proofing Your Home: Defending Against Frozen Pipes and Severe Weather

As winter approaches, it brings with it the risk of frozen pipes, an invisible menace that can lead to significant and costly water damage. Here is a comprehensive guide from Boone Ritter Insurance on preventing frozen pipes and preparing for severe winter weather. Most importantly, be safe!


Frozen Pipes: What to Do

If you suspect frozen pipes, take immediate action:

  • Locate and close the main water shutoff valve before temperatures rise.

  • Open all faucets, including outside ones, to drain remaining water.

  • Keep buckets, towels, and fans ready for potential leaks.

  • Slowly turn water back on, inspect for leaks, and be ready to shut it off if necessary.

  • Inspect pipes in areas like attics and crawl spaces for damage.

  • Never use torches or heat guns for thawing to avoid fire hazards.

  • Monitor for signs of leaks as temperatures rise.


Why Frozen Pipes Are a Concern:

When water freezes, it expands, exerting pressure on pipes and causing bursts:

  • This expansion can lead to bursts regardless of pipe material strength.

  • Burst pipes may go unnoticed until thawing begins, causing leaks and flooding.


Pipes at Highest Risk:

Pipes exposed to elements need extra protection, including:

  • Outdoor hose hookups and faucets.

  • Swimming pool supply lines.

  • Lawn sprinkler lines.

  • Water pipes in unheated areas like basements, attics, garages, and cabinets.

  • Pipes along exterior walls with little or no insulation.


Preparing for Winter Storms:

When the threat of a winter storm is looming, stay vigilant by monitoring Winter Weather Advisories issued 12 to 24 hours before an impending storm. Prioritize family safety with a well-thought-out emergency communication plan. Ensure preparedness by checking and stocking up on vital supplies for snow and ice removal, heating fuel, food, and medications. Power up electronic devices, including a battery-powered radio, and find enjoyment in indoor activities. Additionally, safeguard your pets by bringing them indoors and having an ample supply of essentials. These proactive measures will help you navigate winter storms with confidence and security.


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