These freezing temperatures can take their toll on your house. A lot of your fellow Texans are reporting that their pipes have frozen and in some cases, burst from the cold.
We called Chris Pilcic at State Farm Insurance to ask what homeowners should do to avoid property damage caused by the cold weather.
“This is not something we’re accustomed to in Texas and when the temperatures drop to where they have been recently, we’re very vulnerable to frozen pipes since we usually don’t think to prepare for this type of weather.”
Pilcic says in just a few minutes you can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home.
Start with insulating pipes that may run along an exterior wall. Use some heat tape then open up your cabinets to make sure the warm air gets to your pipes.
Keep a trickle of water flowing from your faucet.
Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature—more common overnight—could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
Now, if your pipes freeze, Pilcic has these suggestions.
Don’t panic. Frozen pipes don’t mean they have or will burst.
Turn on faucets. If nothing comes out, leave them on and call a plumber.
Don’t try to thaw a pipe with a torch or open flame.
You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hire dryer; start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible. (But do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.)
If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on.
The average insurance claim for frozen pipe damage is about $5,000.