Prevent Frozen Pipes in your home this Winter

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

Dear Homeowners,

I cannot emphasize too much or too often the precautions to be taken to prevent frozen or burst water pipes during cold weather.

These bursts not only cause you as the owner inconvenience and damage, they also cost you money. This is because the insurance deductible for water bursts is high, and you will be responsible to pay the deductible for any cold weather-related burst in a water line serving your home or unit only. This may include the outside faucet, depending on your Community Association.


In late fall:

If applicable, close all foundation vents.
Outside hoses: Disconnect all hoses from outside connections, and then run water for a few minutes to be sure pipes leading inside are not still holding water from when the hose was connected. This is the most common cause of bursts in the water line for outside faucets, and often the damage is not discovered until the faucet is used again in the spring.
During extremely cold weather (20 degrees or below):

Leave some water running in faucets farthest away from the water heater, or where the faucet is on an exterior wall. The colder the weather, the more water should flow.
Open all cabinet doors beneath sinks, wet bars, etc., so warm air from the room can circulate around the pipes. This is very helpful.

During warmer weather (you do not have to wait until spring):

Turn on the outside faucets to be sure they are working properly.
While they are on, check the wall and carpet at the inside wall nearest the location of the outside faucet. Water could indicate that the line is broken inside the wall. If you see water, call your Community Association Manager, and do not use the outside faucet until it has been inspected and/or repaired by a qualified technician.
If you have a burst water line:

 Turn off the water at the inside cut-off, if you have one, or at the outside cut-off.

General recommendations:

If you are going out of town, even for a short time, please consider leaving the heat set at a minimum of 65 degrees. You may choose to leave a key with a neighbor, in case of an emergency.
Know the location of your water cut-off, and how to turn off all water. This information is also helpful when you make plumbing repairs or change plumbing fixtures.