Water losses from frozen pipes

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MEEKER I Messy and expensive water losses from burst frozen pipes and ice dams continue to top the types of claims State Farm® receives from mountain town customers.
“This time of year we typically receive more claims related to water losses,” says local State Farm agent Kevin Amack. “The incredible mess and expensive damage an ice dam or burst pipe can cause is really unbelievable. We recommend you minimize the chance your pipes will freeze and address ice dams and a burst pipe immediately when they are detected.”
The costs associated with repairs and the frequency of water loss claims is a contributing factor to the rate making process. State Farm uses past claims data over several years to determine needed adjustments in rates in order to cover the costs of future claims. Overall, above fire, severe weather and other types of losses, water losses impact mountain town customers most often.
When the outside temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes in homes with little or no insulation are likely to freeze and break. A one-eighth inch crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water a day, destroying floors, furniture, appliances and personal items. While stopping a leak or repairing a hose down in the basement might be fairly straightforward, ice dams and attic condensation, two forms of water damage typical to cold climate homes, are a little more complicated and a little trickier to fix. And since many homeowners aren’t frequent visitors to their own attics in the frigid winter months, water damage on the top floor might catch them off guard.
If you’ve waited this long to prepare your home for winter, take heed. The temps in the region have already plunged and you may find yourself submerged in a close relationship with your home’s water system, a plumber, a construction contractor and your insurance company.
Media resources: Video and graphics about what to do before and after a frozen pipe bursts and explaining an ice dam at: