Frozen water pipes are more common than you may believe.

According to Insure.com, broken or frozen water pipes are one of the most common causes of homeowner’s insurance claims.

In fact, burst pipes are second only to hurricanes for the number or homes and cost of damage inflicted.

As temperatures dip in Northeastern Ohio – we caution you to take a few precautionary measures to prevent the hassles and damage caused by burst pipes from happening to you.

But before you do anything else – stop and locate your water shut-off valve and practice using it. You will be glad you did in the chance that worse case scenario happens to you.

1. Always disconnect your water hose from your outdoor spigot in the winter and turn off all outdoor sprinkler systems.

2. Use pipe insulator to protect pipes that are located in cold or drafty areas like basements and crawl spaces.

3. It is a good idea to let your faucets drip when temperatures outdoors drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember hot water pipes can freeze too.

4. If your power goes out, increase the flow from a slow drip to a steadier one. First, start a slow drip on the hot side- then a faster one on the cold.

5. Keep interior cabinet doors open on cold nights to let warmth circulate around pipes- especially when pipes are on an outside wall.

6. You may want to invest in heater tape, heat lamps or heated reflector lamps if you have experienced problems before or in dry, enclosed areas near external walls.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze or Burst

If you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out- your pipe is probably frozen. Keep the water on to give to allow the pressure to escape.

If you decide to attempt to thaw out a frozen pipe – use an electric hair dryer or space heater. NEVER use an open flame.

And give your local plumbing repair company (Blind and Sons) a call- we happen to know of a good one in the area. At Blind and Sons, we service much of Northeastern Ohio.