NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arctic air is bringing blizzard conditions and hard freezes across parts of the Northeast and Northwest this weekend. But there are things you can do to protect your home and property during cold weather.
Freezing and bursting pipes can cause significant damage to homes and Allstate Insurance Company recommends homeowners prepare their homes for cold weather using a few tips.
Allstate and the Insurance Information Institute encourage residents to take a few simple steps to help prevent frozen pipes:
- Keep the house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees will not keep the inside walls from freezing.
- Identify the location for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it.
- Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.
- If you haven't already, make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.
- If you discover that pipes are frozen, don't wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.
- If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills. You don't want the water to do more damage than it already has.
- Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage. Remove any carpet or furniture that can be further damaged from seepage. Save receipts for temporary repairs and take photos of any items that were unsafe to retain to share with your insurance company if you make a claim.
Most homeowners' policies cover damage resulting from a freeze, but by protecting your home with these cold weather tips, you can avoid a lot of potential damage.