Broken and leaking pipes can be disastrous. So much of what we do in the home each day depends on the availability of water. When our water supply is cut off, many of the simple functions we take for granted are no longer possible. There is no water for showers, cooking, washing clothes, and numerous other important uses. There are several reasons pipes leak, including damaged pipes, corrosion, and freezing. Serious water damage results from leaking pipes.
Pipes can be damaged when you try to fix your own plumbing. It’s much wiser to call a professional to do work that is guaranteed. Many times your insurance policy will cover this expense and provide a certified plumber to do complete the necessary repairs. Corrosive elements that are naturally found in water can also cause damage. Perfectly healthy drinking water can be corrosive to pipes. Freezing temperatures is the third major cause of damage to pipes and one we can often prevent.
Protecting Pipes From Freezing Temperatures
There are a number of things you can do to keep pipes from freezing. As winter approaches, take time to prepare your home to avoid the damages frozen and broken pipes can cause.
1. Remove any garden houses from outside spigots, drain any water, and store for the winter.
2. If you have any exposed pipes in your basement, attic, or outside walls, insulate them well to provide protection against cold winter temperatures. If you have pipes on north facing walls, heat tape offers the best protection.
3. Set your thermostat to turn on a few times a day even if you are away. Have someone come by and check on the house if you will be gone more than a day or two.
4. Open up your loft or attic to allow warmer air to enter. This is very important if you have pipes in the loft.
5. Be sure to follow any winterizing instructions for your equipment.
6. Know how to shut off your water supply in the event pipes freeze. The internal stop tap may be under the kitchen sink or downstairs bathroom sink. Turning the water off quickly will prevent a flooding and minimize any damages.
If your pipes do freeze, it is never a good idea to try and thaw them yourself. Too many things can go wrong. Using a blowtorch for thawing purposes can cause a fire, and copper pipes burst easily. The very best thing to do is to call a plumber and wait. You may be advised to turn off your water source. Remove any furnishings in the area of the pipe to protect them from water damage, and place toweling or other materials around the pipe to help absorb water if it does bursts.
When you owe money on a mortgage, the lender requires building insurance in the amount of the loan. All lenders must protect their interest with collateral, and the collateral must be protected. If you own your home mortgage free, building and descriptions insurance is still your best protection. If you experience frozen and broken pipes, you are protected by your insurance coverage. Qualified professionals will repair any damages to the pipes, and the work will be guaranteed for a year. If the water from the burst pipes causes damage to floors or ceilings, it is covered by your building policy. Interior items, such as clothing, bedding, carpets, and furniture will be covered by your descriptions policy.
No homeowner can afford to be without building insurance. It covers many perils that could destroy your home and leave you destitute. Knowing your home will be rebuilt or repaired in the event a destructive storm or other tragedy provides peace of mind. Your insurance policy also provides for housing and associated expenses while repairs or rebuilding is taking place.
Many insurers offer special discounts and tariffs when you purchase insurance online. Other discounts are offered when building and descriptions insurance are packaged together. Know what your insurance covers and if it is sufficient to meet your needs. Do a little investigating and discover if you can find a better policy than you currently have. Switching can often save you money, while giving you a better policy.
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