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Insurance Insights

Preventing Frozen Pipes

By Justin Staebler | Johnson Financial Group

4 minute read time

One of the messiest and most costly homeowner repairs is fixing a burst, frozen pipe. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting and furniture in addition to, shorting out electrical appliances in your home.

Water expands as it freezes which can put significant pressure on the metal or plastic pipes that hold it. Pipes exposed to extreme cold can burst when water expands.  Therefore, it’s important to understand how you can adequately protect your home’s pipes when temperatures drop.

Which pipes are most at risk?

Pipes that are most exposed to the elements, including those outdoors and along the exterior walls of your home, may need extra protection during winter months. These include the following: 

  • Outdoor hose hookups and faucets. 
  • Swimming pool supply lines. 
  • Lawn sprinkler lines. 
  • Water pipes in unheated, interior locations such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and kitchen and bathroom cabinets. 
  • Pipes running against exterior walls with little or no insulation.

To reduce the risk of experiencing a frozen pipe, consider utilizing these helpful solutions: 

Spray Foam

Foam can be sprayed into the wall to fill cavities around pipes when temperatures begin to drop. The foam can help insulate the walls and block airflow. If you utilize spray foam, make sure you also caulk exterior joints on the outside wall near pipes. 

Heat Tape

This tape can be plugged into a grounded outlet and wrapped around pipes. Heat tapes have built-in thermostats that automatically call for power when the temperature drops near freezing. When the temperature rises, the power goes off. 

In-pipe Heating Elements

These devices can be placed in water and sewer pipes to conduct heat directly into the pipe as needed.

Valve Units

These products can be screwed onto faucets, typically those outside, and can prohibit water from passing through when temperatures are too low. The valve sensor detects low and high temperatures. When low temperatures are detected, the sensor opens a micro-valve to produce heat. As the temperature rises, the valve closes.

Insurance advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to offer additional home maintenance guidance and help you understand coverage options to provide you with peace of mind that you and your home are protected. Contact an advisor today if you have any questions about your coverage.

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Insurance products and services offered by Johnson Insurance Services, LLC, a Johnson Financial Group Company.  Not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, not bank guaranteed, may lose value. For your protection, coverage cannot be bound or changed via voicemail and is not effective until confirmed directly with a licensed agent.