This holiday season has brought some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen all year, and when the thermometer dips below -30 degrees, your home can start to feel the freeze. Without taking the proper steps to protect your house from the effects of winter, you could be left facing unpleasant and possibly expensive home damages–damages, which may not be covered by your insurance policy.

Remember that if you go away during the winter for an extended period, you need someone to check in on your home periodically to ensure the furnace is still operating and that your water pipes are not at risk of freezing. If your home is not checked, it can be very difficult or impossible to get insurance coverage for your property in case of damage.

Tips to prevent your pipes from freezing

  • Insulate pipes that run along the exterior wall of your home or are located in unheated areas with insulation sleeves. Look for vulnerable pipes in the basement, attic, garage, and crawl space.
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in. Pay special attention to areas around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
  • Going away? Resist the temptation to turn off your heat; keep your house heated while you are gone and as an added precaution, have someone you trust check on your house while you are away.
  • If the weather hits extreme cold temperatures, let water drip slowly from faucets connected to at risk pipes, and open kitchen, bathroom and laundry room cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.

The first sign of a frozen pipe, is usually little or no water when you open your taps. Should the worst happen and your pipes freeze, call a plumber and make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is and how it works. If the pipe breaks you will need to immediately shut off the water in your house until the pipe is repaired.

Before you go on holidays, contact your insurance broker to check what your policy will cover in case of damage caused by frozen pipes and what preventative measures are required.

Have questions? Ask us!