As temperatures continue to drop in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, homeowners face the increased risk of frozen pipes. According to the Insurance Institute for Home and Business Safety (IBHS), a frozen pipe that bursts can result in damages of more than $5,000. To avoid unnecessary time and expenses associated with fixing a burst pipe, homeowners can take some preventative measures beforehand.
Here are a few tips to ensure your pipes are ready to take on winter weather:
1.Insulate pipes: If pipes are located in unheated areas, they should always be insulated. Pipes can be covered with foam insulation or fiberglass tubing. In areas with extreme cold, such as Saint Paul or Minneapolis, wrapping your pipes with controlled heat tape is an effective solution.
2.Check all areas of your home: It’s important to do a walk-through of your home’s plumbing system to locate all water supply lines. This includes checking garages, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and in basements or attics. IBHS cites that 37 percent of frozen pipes occur in a basement.
3.Leave a faucet dripping: During extreme temperatures, be sure to leave the faucet associated with exposed pipes dripping. Letting a faucet drip – even at a trickle – helps to prevent your pipes from freezing.
4.Know and control the temperature of your home: Whether you’re at home, work, or on vacation, you should be aware of your home’s temperature, and ensure it is always well above 32 degrees. One of the most effective ways to monitor conditions is by purchasing a programmable thermostat. Many of these thermostats control the temperature of your house through the use of a smartphone, no matter where you are.
5.Check the exterior: When checking water supply lines on your property, it is crucial to review the exterior of your home. Drain all hoses and supply lines to sprinklers, and install covers on outside faucets. If you have a swimming pool, it should also be drained.
With the highest frequency of frozen pipe insurance claims occurring during the month of January, now is the time to take action. Whether you’ve had a pipe burst unexpectedly or need a complete cold weather plumbing inspection, we can help. Call Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing, Heating & Air at 651-789-0628 to make sure your plumbing system endures the winter.