Homeowners Should Prepare for Hard Freeze
Texans will be greeting a frosty new year, starting as early as Sunday, with temperatures expected to dip into the 20s for most of the state. This hard freeze could result in frozen water pipes for homeowners, which can lead to water pipes inside the house bursting and leaking.
A prolonged cold spell will freeze unprotected water lines due to the expansion in the line which will causes small cracks in the pipes. Water leaks then occur when the temperature warms up. The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) recommends taking these following steps to avoid frozen water pipes.
- Unhook any outdoor water hoses to your faucets.
- Wrap outdoor pipes and faucets with newspaper, foam, rags or other insulating material. To keep the insulation in place, secure it with string, wire or tape.
- Check hardware stores for insulation products that fit over outside water faucets.
- Open doors under your sinks to provide warm air circulation.
- Circulate the water in your home by dripping at least one sink.
- Keep the temperature at 55 degrees or warmer in your home.
- If a leak is detected inside the home, shut off the water to the house immediately to prevent further damage and contact your plumber.
- Do not dispose of any items without the prior approval of your insurance adjuster.
Texas homeowner policies provide differing levels of coverage for water damage. If in doubt, policyholders can make one quick phone call to confirm their protection.
“This is an excellent time for homeowners to take a look at their insurance policy or contact their insurance agent to confirm their coverage and deductible,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “With the temperature dropping well below freezing in most parts of the state, there is the chance that water pipes will burst and cause extensive damage.”
Bitter cold temperatures can cause hundreds of millions of dollars to Texas homes and commercial buildings. Freezing temperatures in 1983 and 1989 were two of the coldest years on record and homeowners from the Red River to the coast suffered damage.