Winter weather can cause plumbing pipes to freeze and sometimes even burst, which can lead to flooding and substantial water damage. Fortunately, taking adequate safety precautions can help to reduce the risk of damage and accidents caused by frozen pipes.
Ways to Prevent Freezing Pipes
Some people think that the risk of frozen pipers is only an issue for homes located in the coldest conditions. In reality, a large number of homes all across the country are at risk of having their pipes freeze when temperatures drop. Fortunately, there are precautions that you can take to avoid the risk of frozen pipes, which include the following:
- Keep your heat on. If you plan on leaving home for a long period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on. Even though keeping the heat on can lead to higher utility bills, doing so can greatly decrease the risk of pipes freezing. The heat does not need to be kept on as high as usual; the temperature should be set at or above 50 degrees F.
- Let faucet drip. If you are worried that a pipe will freeze, it is a good idea to open the faucet that is connected to the pipe so that it drips. This helps to relieve the pressure that builds up in the system and reduces the risk of pipes bursting.
- Keep interior pipes open. In many cases, pipes are located inside cabinets. This means that when temperatures drop, keeping cabinet doors open will help ensure that the heat from the house keeps those pipes as warm as possible.
- Seal up cracks and holes. It is important to seal gaps around holes where pipes run through floors or walls. If it is possible to do so, seal both the exterior and interior of the floor and wall.
- Apply heating tape. Many people do not know that heating tape can be a good choice for short lengths of pipe that are at high risk of freezing. There are two types of heating tape: One type senses when heat is required and turns itself on or off accordingly, and the other type must be plugged in when heat is required.
- Add additional insulation. Some pipes that are located in areas that lack adequate insulation sometimes need extra insulation to avoid freezing. Some pipes can be adjusted with foam rubber or fiberglass to help decrease the risk of freezing. Insulation helps to keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water that is located inside of the pipe, but will unfortunately not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.
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Who is Liable When Frozen Pipes Burst?
When it comes to situations involving damage caused by the bursting of frozen pipes, there are a number of complex liability issues to consider. Renters should always check their lease to determine if there are any applicable agreements related to winter conditions. If a person owns the property, it is important to determine the terms of his or her homeowner’s insurance.
Speak with an Experienced Long Island Premise Liability Attorney
If you are impacted by bursting pipes this winter and another party is liable, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Long Island premise liability attorney. Contact Cohen & Jaffe today to schedule an initial free consultation.