Burst Pipes are a Nightmare Side Effect of the Bitter Cold Weather

posted by 1200 WOAI -

A lot of people in south Texas are finding that no water is coming out of their faucets, and the reason is that their pipes have been frozen by the hard freeze of the last few days, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Chris Pilcic of State Farm in Texas, says your pipes may thaw out on their own and be okay, or the ice could expand and burst those pipes, which is a homeowner's nightmare

."Nationally, the average insurance claim relating to a burst pipe like this is about $5,000, so it can do real significant damage," he said.

In addition to wrapping or insulating outdoor pipes and sprinkler systems, experts recommend allowing indoor faucets to drip overnight, because the moving water will discourage freezing.  If the pipes do freeze, warming them with a hair dryer may speed up the thawing process and avoid the disaster of a burst pipe, but don't use an open flame like a grill lighter or a torch, as they could cause even more problems.

Pilcic says, ironically, Texas homes are at greater risk of frozen pipes during cold weather than are homes in northern states where freezes are more frequent.  That's because builders in Texas are more likely to run pipes through walls in uninsulated spaces.  That means you could experience a burst pipe inside your walls, which is an even worse disaster

."Once the pipes burst, you are in danger of floding inside your home, and all of that water ruining flooring, furniture, and personal content," he said.  "You really want to mitigate your losses to make sure you're prepared."