BANGOR – Temperatures may drop into the negative numbers overnight — that could cause pipes to freeze.
There are ways to prevent it from happening in your home.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, frozen pipes present one of the biggest risks for property damage when temperatures fall.
Statistics from the insurance institute state pipes that burst from freezing, could result in more than 5-thousand dollars worth of damage.
Susan Faloon with the Maine Emergency Management Agency said, it’s a good idea to know your insurance policy.
“As a precaution to see if water damage would be covered, if in fact, you had something like that happen,” said Faloon.
A local plumbing specialist. There are precautions to take to protect pipes before temperatures plummet.
“Insulation. Insulation, and insulation,” said Andrew Wilkinson owner of Corinth Heating & Plumbing. He goes on to say “If it’s a mobile home, make sure your skirting is intact and heat tape is very important”.
He also said to follow instructions when using heat tape.
“A lot of people think that the heat tapes should be wrapped in a circular fashion around the pipe and they should not. They should be laid accordingly and then taped,” said Wilkinson.
If you haven’t taken those steps,it’s not too late. There are other things that can be done.
“If it’s a mobile home, just make sure the heat is on and running at all times,” said Wilkinson.
“You can just leave your cupboards open so a little more heat can get in there. Another option is to leave the water running with a little bit. Just a tiny trickle,” said Faloon.
Faloon said don’t use alternative heat sources.
“Unfortunately, what some people try to do is to thaw pipes with a blow torch or something like that. Not a good idea … it’s very unsafe, actually last winter a house down the street from me burned because somebody did that and then it caught fire,” said Faloon.
In fact, Wilkinson said a blow-dryer can be used but do it slowly and don’t apply the heat directly to the pipe.
“Definitely don’t want to heat up the pipe rapidly because the pipe will split and break.