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Keep Your Pipes From Bursting In Freezing Weather

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Both copper and plastic pipes can break in frigid temperatures. (credit: CBS)

Both copper and plastic pipes can break in frigid temperatures. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- Water loss damage from burst pipes is second in insurance claims only to hail damage in Colorado. There are ways to keep the pipes in your home from bursting.

Many are simple, for instance disconnecting the outside hose from faucets and checking your faucets for wear and leaks before the winter weather hits.

“I think we were aware of that,” said new homeowner Rick Alexander.

Rick and his wife Mari are new homeowners. They didn’t know the first thing about preparing their home for the freezing cold and were relieved to find many of the items on the list are simple.

“That’s a real likely candidate for a freeze there if you didn’t have the insulation,” said State Farm Claim Team Manager Bob Blume.

Blume is an insurance claims specialist and said if an outside pipe is exposed, wrap it with insulation and check current insulation for cracks.

“So down in the basement where it stays relatively cool you can feel the difference in here already,” said Blume. “You’ve got these really thin water lines here and they’re not right against the foundation of the house and right next to an older window that is not insulated.”

Blume recommends wrapping pipes with insulation or heat tape. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water a day.

A frozen pipe in the basement of a home near Steamboat burst last year and caused more than $150,000 in damage.

If you do have a pipe break there are some simple steps to follow to minimize your damage.

Know where the main shut off value to your water is to keep more water from pouring out of the burst pipe.

“It’s really, really simple things you can do to avoid disaster,” said homeowner Mari.

A standard homeowners’ insurance policy does cover frozen pipe damage, but it’s always better to prevent disasters before they happen.

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