Water Damage causes damages to Michigan homes every day

Water damage can dampen your day. 250,000 families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter by water pipes that freeze and burst. When the outside temperature drops below freezing, water pipes with little or no insulation are likely to freeze and break.

Recovering from frozen pipes is not as simple as calling a plumber. An eighth-inch (3 millimeters) crack in a pipe can discharge more than 250 gallons (946 liters) of water a day. And, the result can include damaged floors, furniture, appliances, and treasured family heirlooms.

There is an advantage to spending time preventing frozen pipes when you consider the soggy consequences of doing nothing. Minimize the chance your pipes will freeze with these simple, reminders.

You can prevent water damage before the cold hits:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas and those that run along outside walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located.
  • Disconnect garden hoses.

When the temperature drops:

  • Run a small trickle of water from hot and cold faucets during extreme cold.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to piping under sinks and vanities near exterior walls.

Before you go on vacation:

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C).
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough or
  • Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it will be deactivated when you shut off the water.

What to do in Michigan if your pipes freeze:

  • Don’t take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, seek the advice of a professional plumber. If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame.  Seek the advice and assistance of a professional plumber.  Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water because you could be electrocuted.  Find detailed information on How to prevent frozen pipes here.

Finally, spend a few minutes protecting your water pipes to save time and expense down the road. Talk with an insurance professional for more tips and information for protecting your home or apartment.      

Find out how you can Protect your Michigan Home from Ice Dams.