Frozen pipes are the last thing you'll want to deal with during the winter, especially if you live in the Eastern Sierra where you're already having to shovel snow all season. You probably have homeowners insurance or condo unit owners insurance, but damage from frozen pipes isn't always covered. To make sure you're covered, you need to take reasonable care to keep your home warm and reduce the risk of pipes bursting.
Here are a few tips to keep your pipes from freezing this season.
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if you have plumbing in or near your garage. In Mammoth especially, cold air can come in fast through an open garage door.
- Set your home thermostat to 55 degrees or higher, even when you're sleeping or leaving town. When the interior of your home is warm, pipes are much less likely to freeze.
- If outside temperatures are low, leave bathroom and kitchen doors open, and consider opening the cabinet doors in these rooms too. This will allow air to circulate more easily to the pipes. This is especially important if the pipes are on an exterior wall.
- Make sure your home is well-insulated. If you're planning a remodel, consider adding additional insulation. Seal up any cracks in doors or windows to keep heat in.
- Insulate any pipes that are on exterior walls or in the crawlspace or attic.
- Take garden hoses off outdoor faucets, then cover the faucets. Better yet, turn off the water supply to your outdoor faucets in the winter.
- If the pipes that lead to a faucet are exposed or outside, leave the faucet on a slow drip. Pipes are less likely to freeze/burst if water is running through them.
- If you're leaving for an extended period of time, consider shutting off the water supply to your home and draining pipes before you go.
Coverage for damages from frozen pipes varies by carrier and insurance policy, but these tips will help you avoid the issue and show your insurance carrier that you took proper care if something does happen.