I'm watching the news and seeing words like "Arctic Blast" and "Polar Vortex"  scrolling across the screen all with temperatures in the flashing up in the negatives. The weather guy is now showing the wind chill as a negative 10 degrees outside, and he is about as excited as a kid on Christmas. While I think that with the new naming of every snow storm, the 24 hour coverage of the latest two inches and negative temps outside, and shutting down major roadways in Long Island may be a little overkill, there is still a valid concern for people and pets who are outside. But you know what was interesting, out of all of the news, I only saw one report which talked about preventing frozen pipes.

What Can I Do To Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

If you  have a home or business space which is not occupied during these frigid temps, it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent your property from becoming the next coolest ice sculpture. Pipes burst because frozen water expands and cracks. It doesn't matter if you have copper or even the new plastic piping. In these temperatures, if you are not taking precautions to leave the heat running at 65 degrees, you run the risk of them cracking and having water leaking all over your property.  If you have a business or an apartment complex and have sprinklers throughout the buildings, it is even more imperative that you take precautions to keep the heat running during this time.  If you rent and know there is no one above you in the apartment upstairs, give a call to your landlord to make sure the heat is on. Trust me, I have seen a huge mess when the apartment upstairs has a pipe bust and now your entire home or business is ruined from water damage.  Another tip is to keep the water running, even at just a trickle, to prevent freezing.

"I didn't listen to you & now my pipes are frozen - now what?"

If your pipes are frozen, first rule - DO NOT USE A BLOW TORCH OR OTHER OPEN FLAME! If you are thawing your pipes with a blow torch, you run the risk of having the walls catch fire inside the house, and then you will have a much bigger problem on your hands!

Use a small space heater while monitoring it - not unsupervised. You can also use warm water and run this down the pipes, or around the pipes. Or use a device specifically made for thawing pipes.

If you want more information on how to protect you and your family this winter season, call us at 888-565-2212. We specialize in Long Island home insurance and New York Business insurance.  Stay warm out there and stop watching all of the news.

Photo provided by Scott Akerman.
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