The FINANCIAL — Arctic air is bringing record low temperatures and hard freezes across much of New York state, including many areas not accustomed to the winter chill. But there are things you can do to protect your home and property during cold weather.
Freezing and bursting pipes can cause significant damage to New York homes. Allstate Insurance Company and the Insurance Information Institute encourage residents to consider the following tips to prepare their homes for cold weather and help prevent frozen pipes:
Cold weather tips to protect New York homes:
Keep the house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees will not keep the inside walls from freezing.
Identify the location for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it.
Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.
If you haven’t already, make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.
If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.
If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills. You don’t want the water to do more damage than it already has.
Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage. Remove any carpet or furniture that can be further damaged from seepage.
Most homeowners policies cover damage resulting from a freeze, but by protecting your home with these cold weather tips, you can avoid a lot of potential damage.
If homeowners encounter damage resulting from cold weather, Allstate encourages them to contact their agent or their insurance company, according to Allstate.