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According to homeowner insurance statistics, frozen and broken plumbing pipes hold the number two spot behind hurricanes for causing the most damage to homes and overall claim costs in North America. It is hard to think of this common problem as being on a similar scale with natural disasters, but the insurance industry recognizes the broken water line, a burst pipe and flooded basement for the catastrophe it is.
Avoid The Nightmare Of Frozen And Broken Water Lines
Water gushing from a burst pipe is among every homeowner’s worst nightmares. A ruptured pipe that goes unnoticed for any length of time can result in a flooded basement, but there is more to worry about than the mess it leaves behind. The lake formed in the aftermath can cause damage to the foundation, walls and flooring of the structure. It is not uncommon for repair costs to water damaged homes to reach as much as $50,000 or more.
Throughout the nation, people submit claims for significant losses caused by frozen and broken water line problems. The effects of water damages can be reduced by implementing abatement procedures immediately. However, even these steps cannot always prevent drywall from deteriorating after becoming soaked with water or wallpaper from developing mold. Carpets and drapery in a flooded basement are sure to need to be replaced and kitchen cabinets may warp after a flood.
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How to Avoid a Serious Problem
All this adds up to a costly experience, but there are things homeowners can do to prevent pipes from bursting and the nightmare that follows. It is obvious that someone has to carry the heavy financial burden of broken water lines, and policyholders become the burden bearers when rates increase on homeowners insurance premiums.
The best way to curb these costs is to prevent pipes from bursting and here are five steps anyone can take to do this.
1. Know the location of the shut-off valve for the water supply just in case a burst pipe occurs and quickly turn it off to minimize damages.
2. Take time to insulate all the exposed pipes in the attic, outside walls, under the home and in the basement. When wrapping water pipes with heat tape follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent the risk of fire.
3. Disconnect any connections to outside faucets and shut off the valve. Garden and other hoses left charged during freezing weather can rupture as the water begins to thaw. If this water is around the foundation of the home, a good amount of damage can occur.
4. Sprinkler systems should be winterized. Manufacturers of these systems often recommend using an air compressor to blow excess water out of the pipes and heads to prevent them from freezing.
5. Never set the home’s thermostat below 55 degrees during winter even though it may be vacant part of the time. Unoccupied homes should be checked regularly to ensure the temperature inside remains at an acceptable level. Otherwise, winterize it by turning off water lines and ensuring that the pipes are empty before leaving.
6. Install drain tile around the interior or exterior perimeter of the home. Drain tile is designed to carry water away from the foundation. When installed in the basement, drain tile collects water and directs it to a sump pump to be removed from the home.
Call us Anytime
Homeowners all over the country are able to prevent the devastation caused by broken water lines just by following the above precautionary steps. Before this happens to you, call us about to see about the condition of plumbing in your home. Pipes tend to rot from the inside out in Vancouver. The alkaline water in our region is corrosive to most pipes, so the occasional inspection is recommended. By: Vince Singh