Extreme cold weather plumbing tips

Extreme cold weather can present a major challenge for homeowners and for renters especially those who have old pipes in their yard or located in and around their house or apartment.

There are cold weather plumbing tips that fall in the category of preventive maintenance.

In the Texas Panhandle plumbing pipes located underneath the ground are not as at risk as pipes located above ground or going in and out of a house or apartment building.

"When it freezes its going to expand," said Shawn Thomas, Owner and General Manager of Apex Plumbing. "Many times the pipes are going to split. If the pipes are old then the pipes are even more susceptible."

There are some preventive measures homeowners and renters can take in order to greatly reduce the risk of damage from pipes bursting.

Insulating hose bibs with a towel along with leaving a faucet on at the drip level can be the difference between an extra $20.00 or several thousand dollars.

It also helps to seal air leaks that may let an icy blast reach the pipes.

If you plan on being away due to an extended vacation during cold weather you may have the water turned off at the meter.

"It's not a bad idea to have a drip of water in the furthest point of your house or apartment to the water meter," said Thomas. "This is always a good thing to do."

For renters residing in an apartment complex having renters insurance is strongly advised.

"Your apartment complex is not responsible for your property inside the apartment," said Merritt Vaughn, agent with State Farm. "That would be your responsibility to have renters insurance and its very affordable.

Insurance companies say they see a drastic rise in claims being reported during the peak winter months.

Before purchasing renters insurance people are encouraged to shop around and look for the best deal that meets their needs.

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