COLORADO – With temperatures dropping and Colorado getting closer to winter, it is time to start planning if you want to avoid arguably what is arguably the biggest cold weather headache: frozen pipes.
Frozen hookahs are no joke. Water expands when it freezes, which puts massive pressure on pipes and can burst. Not only is this messy, but it can also be expensive.
However, a little planning can save you a lot of pain in the long run.
Typically, the most common causes of frozen pipes are rapid temperature drops, poor insulation, and thermostats that are set too low for the conditions.
Fortunately, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to keep pipes from freezing. Consumer Reports gave these five tips to prevent pipes from freezing this winter:
- Keep garage doors closed: Water pipes in the garage can be protected from the cold when the doors are closed.
- Keep cabinet doors open: Allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Let cold water drip: water flowing through a pipe prevents it from freezing.
- Keep the same temperature: keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night.
- Set it to 55 ° F: If you are going to be away for long periods of time, set the thermostat to no lower than 55 ° F.
- Insulate: Insulate attics, basements, and crawl spaces. The insulation helps maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
When pipes freeze:
- If your home or basement is flooded, turn off the tap on the house and call 911 immediately.
- If you turn your taps on and nothing comes out, leave the taps on and call a plumber.
- Do not touch or use electrical appliances in areas with standing water as there is a risk of electric shock.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a flashlight or other open flame as this could create a fire hazard. Every year, many building fires are caused by people trying to thaw frozen pipes. All open flames in homes pose a serious fire hazard, as well as a serious risk of exposure to the deadly carbon monoxide.
- You may be able to thaw a frozen tube with the warm air of a hair dryer. Start by heating the pipe as close to the tap as possible and work your way towards the coldest section of the pipe. DO NOT use a blowtorch or other open flame to attempt to thaw any frozen tubes.
When a pipe bursts, try these tips from AAA Mid-Atlantic for making and managing insurance claims:
- Make a list of the damaged items and take photos.
- Be sure to keep receipts of your expenses – including additional living expenses if you have to leave your home pending repairs – and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
- The usual home contents insurance covers most types of damage resulting from a freeze. This includes, for example, when house pipes freeze and burst or ice forms in gutters and water backs up under roof shingles and seeps into the house. You are also covered if the weight of snow or ice damages your home.
- If your home suffers water damage, it’s important to make sure it’s properly dried and repaired to avoid potential mold problems. Remember, mold cannot survive without moisture.
- Check with your agent or insurance company so you are sure what your policy covers.