The days are lengthening, but there is still plenty of freezing weather ahead.
Pipes may not be able to withstand the pressure of freezing water and if one cracks or bursts, flowing water can lead to severe structural damage and mold.
A traditional, visual inspection by a heating contractor can help identify some potential problems, but won’t provide the comprehensive behind-the-wall view available only with an infrared camera.
Does your home insurer offer infrared thermography?
Unlike the naked eye, infrared technology can identify missing or damaged insulation, pipes too close to colder exterior walls, and small foundation or wall cracks- issues that can lead to frozen pipes.
As well, infrared thermography can help locate leaks resulting from damaged pipes by detecting areas of wet insulation or hidden sources of water behind a wall, underground, or within mechanical equipment housings.
After an inspection or when cold temperatures are forecast, homeowners can take other protective measures to reduce the danger of a pipe freezing:
- Shut off valves serving outdoor faucets
- Maintain thermostats at daytime temperature
- Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing
- Keep garage doors closed as much as possible
- Let water drip slowly through any faucets served by exposed pipes
- If your primary or secondary home will be empty for a few days, leave the home’s heat at a consistent temperature of at least 55 degrees
Keith Weinhold is a risk consultant specialist for Chubb Personal Risk Services.