GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Many homeowners are worried their pipes may freeze in these conditions.The cities of Muskegon Heights and Kalamazoo are asking homeowners to leave their water running to prevent pipe damage.
We set out to verify: Should you be concerned with your pipes freezing? And, what to do if your water stops running or you find a room in your house flooded?
We spoke to Greg Haase at Roto Rooter and we spoke to Progressive Insurance to find the answers.
"We're dealing with frozen water lines all day long, day and night," Haase said.
Roto Rooter is working 10 to 15 frozen lines a day.
"A lot of times happens because of cold drafts or pipes that are on outside walls," Haase said.
Start by running your hands along door frames and window sills.
"They can look for any drafts that they have in their house and try to seal them up to prevent cold air from getting into the house," Haase said.
We tagged along with Mr. Rooter while that company was actually working a frozen pipe call..
Another tip, check for pipes on the outside of your home and detach your garden hose.
"If they have any pipes on the outside walls and then best thing to do is to cut an access so the heat from inside the house can get into the walls and block out the cold air from outside," Haase said.
It's recommended you do not do this by yourself.
"Best thing to do is call a professional to come and especially diagnose if there even is pipes in the outside wall before you go cutting holes all over the place," Haase said.
Keep your thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees or higher.
"The higher you can keep it the less chance you have of anything freezing," Haase said.
If you notice your water isn't running in your home, chances are your pipes froze which could then lead to flooding. Progressive Insurance said in a basic homeowner's policy with it's underwriters, it's standard procedure that accidental flooding resulting from frozen pipes is covered. The extent of that coverage depends on your policy.
So we can verify that yes, your pipes can freeze in these cold temperatures, and according to Roto Rooter, shutting off your outside pipes and creating a hole for warm air to get to your walls, is the best thing to do.
If you plan to go away for a few days, do not shut off your heat. Keep the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees and turn your water off at the shut off, usually found in your basement.
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