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Everyday Disasters
These common occurrences can be a lot less disastrous when you follow the advice below.

Avoid frozen pipes when the weather gets cold.

Frozen or broken water pipes cause major damage to homes every winter. Much of the damage is caused when pipes freeze then rupture due to prolonged heat loss, as when pipes aren't properly insulated or a furnace stops working. Even if you have heat, pipes can freeze if they aren't kept at 65 degrees or higher. You see, the water within the pipe freezes, causing the pipe to expand and crack. As soon as the pipe heats up again, the pipes are likely to burst! If the water flow at your faucets is blocked, that's a good indication that your pipes may be frozen, so act quickly!

You can prevent the mess and aggravation, not to mention the expense, that frozen water pipes cause by following these easy steps:

  • Find the pipes that are most likely to freeze -- usually those near outer walls, in crawl spaces, or in the attic.
  • Insulate them with foam jacketing or wrap pipes with approved heat tape. Insulation on outside pipes should extend 12 inches below the frost line, which is an imaginary line that represents the average depth at which soil is likely to freeze each year.
  • Seal all cracks that would allow cold air to reach pipes.
  • Let hot and cold water trickle at night from an outside faucet.
  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach insulated pipes under a sink.
  • Have a neighbor check your house daily if you plan to be away for a long period.

If your pipes do freeze...

  • Shut off the water. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to do this in case the pipes are about to burst.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame, torch, or heat gun.
  • Call a plumber and your Homesite insurance specialist if you need claims assistance.



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*21st Century is not affiliated with Homesite Insurance. The 21st Century Homeowners Insurance Program is underwritten by member companies of the Homesite Insurance group, a leading provider of homeowners, renters and condominium insurance. Member companies include: Homesite Insurance Company, Homesite Indemnity Company, Homesite Insurance Company of California, Homesite Insurance Company of Florida, Homesite Insurance Company of Illinois, Homesite Insurance Company of the Midwest, Homesite Insurance Company of New York, Homesite Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, and Homesite Lloyd's of Texas.
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