You want to review your insurance policy very carefully at least once a year – your life circumstances can change pretty drastically in that time, after all! One thing we highly recommend checking out is how your policy deals with water damage caused by frozen pipes – pipes that burst while you were away on vacation are often not covered by your insurance policy.
Even if you were covered, dealing with water damage is not a pleasant experience. Fortunately, there are ways of decreasing your risk: let’s take a closer look.
Keep the heat on
Most of you reading this are in Winnipeg or elsewhere in Manitoba, so you probably don’t need to hear this. It is, however, the best way to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place – keep your heat on all winter long, even while you’re away on vacation. Keeping things cool might seem like a way to save money – right up until your pipes explode and you have a flood on your hands.
Keep an eye on outdoor plumbing
Manitobans only rarely have swaths of exposed outdoor plumbing – but if you do, take the time to insulate those pipes. You should also run a trickle of water at all times to keep water moving through the pipes – this makes the water less liable to freeze.
Even if you don’t have any exposed pipes, you probably have an outdoor faucet that you attach your garden hose to. In the fall, turn off your water main, turn on that faucet full blast until water stops coming out, then turn it off and turn the water main back on.
You should also insulate that outdoor faucet! This will all prevent your faucet from cracking and leaking water into your foundation.
Keep an eye on your house while you’re on vacation
If your furnace stops working while you’re on vacation, your pipes will freeze very quickly. Those frozen pipes can then burst and cause water damage.
The solution? Have someone visit your house every day to ensure the heat’s still on. You can also equip your home with things like temperature alarms and smart thermostats if you want to keep an eye on things yourself.
Call a plumber if your pipes are frozen
If, despite all of your preparation, you discover that you have frozen pipes, don’t attempt to thaw them yourself.
You see, the freezing is what does the damage – water expands when it freezes, and this can cause your pipes to crack. The water won’t start pouring out of those cracks, however, until the ice thaws. By calling a plumber to thaw your pipes for you, you’ll have an expert, on hand, who can handle the almost inevitable deluge of water.
If you are going to thaw the pipes yourself, turn off your water main before starting, and clear the area you’re thawing of any furniture or other belongings. Seriously, though – we’d strongly recommend getting a plumber.
Frozen pipes aren’t fun, but with proper preparation you won’t have to worry about them. Have any questions about home insurance for your Winnipeg home? Get in touch with us.