Our first hard freeze of this season came in early December, and Central Texans should expect more freezing temps in January and February. Every year, homeowners face the threat of indoor flooding if pipes burst during a hard freeze. When the weather forecaster predicts freezing temperatures overnight or during the day, remember to leave your faucets at slow drip. Open cabinet doors so warm air can circulate underneath sinks. Outside, cover faucets with Styrofoam protectors available at the hardware store. (And don’t forget to bring in those tropical, heat-loving potted plants, especially ferns, hibiscus and bougainvillea, if you can).
What if your pipes freeze? If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait. Take measures to thaw them immediately using a hair dryer, or call a plumber for assistance.
If pipes do burst in your home:
1. Turn off the water first, then mop up spills. Don’t let the water do more damage than it already has.
2. Call your insurer as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster doesn’t need to see the spill before you can take action, though he or she will want to inspect all damaged items. Take photos of damaged areas and items.
3. Make temporary repairs and take steps to protect your property from further damage. For instance, remove carpet or furniture to avoid further damage.
4. Make a list of damaged property.
5. Remember to save receipts for what you spend—including additional living expenses if you must leave your home until repairs are completed—and submit them to your insurance carrier for reimbursement. If you need to know what is included on your list, then please call us at 512-869-1511.