As Winter Arrives, Beat The Freeze By Protecting Pipes

State Farm® reminds consumers to take precautions

Dec 06, 2010, 12:17 ET from State Farm

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As temperatures drop across the country this week, take a few minutes to assess pipe vulnerability. It could save you the headache and aggravation caused by water damage.

State Farm reports the number of frozen pipe claims nearly tripled, from 9,000 claims to more than 26,000 claims, between 2008 and 2009.

Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst, destroying floors, furniture, appliances and treasured family heirlooms.

"A small crack in a pipe can leak water at a volume of 14 gallons a minute," said Jamie France, State Farm loss mitigation manager. "In most cases, water losses can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions. Spending a few minutes to protect your pipes could save you time and expense down the road."

Beat the Freeze

Minimize the chance your pipes will freeze by insulating pipes in unheated areas and those that run along outside walls, floors and ceilings. Disconnect outside garden hoses, and seal foundation cracks that let arctic air freeze pipes in crawlspaces.

A few simple tasks can help protect pipes and homes when a severe freeze is predicted:

  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to piping under sinks and vanities near exterior walls.
  • Run a small trickle of water from hot and cold faucets during extreme cold.
  • Keep exterior doors to unheated spaces closed as much as possible during winter months.
  • If you are taking a short trip or own a business that will be unoccupied for more than 24 hours, make arrangements to have the dwelling checked regularly during severe cold spells. Discovering a burst pipe or water leak quickly can prevent excessive damage.
  • Install a whole house water leak detection system. For a list of manufacturers visit:

To view video about what to do before and after a frozen pipe bursts visit:

SOURCE State Farm