Statistic: Homeowners are five times more likely to file an insurance claim for water damage than they are for fire damage during the life of their homeowners’ insurance policy.

Avoidance of frozen pipes should begin well before freezing conditions occur. At the first onset of cold weather in the Fall, make sure that all garden hoses are removed from the outdoor spigots, the spigots and hoses drained and properly stored, and any outdoor water consuming devices made ready for the Winter. If you have an occasion to use a garden hose during the winter months, remember to disconnect the hose and drain the water from the hose and the spigot to avoid freezing damage.

Homeowners should do regular inspections on the inside and the outside of their home to make sure that any plumbing lines that might get exposed are properly and adequately protected from becoming frozen once the weather does turn cold. If you have water lines in a crawl space, get into the crawl space with the door closed and the lights off and see if you can see daylight coming into the space. If you do, locate those spots and make necessary corrections to avoid cold air getting in during freezing weather and causing frozen pipes and possible water damage.

If you will be away from home for an extended length of time during cold weather, turn the thermostats down to not less than 55 degrees F and open all cabinet doors where there is plumbing located inside.  Have a friend or relative come by daily during extremely cold weather to make sure that everything is okay. Leave the name of your plumbing and heating contractor with the temporary caretakers in case an emergency arises while you are away.