It’s December and for most, winter is here. Holiday plans have been made, travel is set.
Children are looking forward to an extended break from school. Their parents on the other hand,
maybe not so much. With all of this excitement and activity there is one thing that is sure to
happen, it’s going to be cold. With colder temperatures comes the risk of frozen pipes in your
Many think that a burst or frozen pipe is something only homeowners deal with but the fact is, it
can happen to anyone. While I was college living in a townhome that I rented, we had a
particularly cold winter. I went to bed one evening without a care in the world. Around 6 in the
morning I was awoken by my next door neighbor. They had water all over their townhome due
to a pipe that burst in the wall between our units. I immediately got up to check. Sure enough,
as I descended the stairs there was a nice large puddle of water that was waiting for me at the
bottom of the stairs. The water covered most of the first floor. What a mess! As I did not own the
townhome, I was not responsible for the repair. However, I was responsible for the damage to
my own property. Luckily, my renters insurance covered the damage to my property and I was
able to replace the items that were damaged. I can tell you I don’t wish that experience on
Armed Forces Insurance is dedicated to helping your family in all situations and offers the
following quick tips to ensure your winter months are filled with warmth and joy and not filled
with having to deal with water damage from frozen pipe.
Before Winter Arrives:
1. Seal all exterior cracks or openings in your outside walls, windows, doors or other
2. Disconnect all outdoor hoses and drain them before storing.
3. Insulate all accessible pipes before it gets cold. This is especially important in areas that
are unheated such as the garage or under kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Once Winter Arrives:
1. Monitor the weather for extreme cold snap potential.
2. Keep garage doors closed as much as possible as that space is generally unheated.
3. Open up cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate to your kitchen and bathroom pipes.
4. Let your faucet taps slowly drip during extreme cold to help prevent the water in your
pipes from freezing.
5. Install an alarm that will monitor if water leak in your home.
6. Keep your thermostat the same temperature day and night. 68 degrees or higher is best
but never let your thermostat fall below 55 degrees.
Checking for frozen pipes and what to do once you found it:
1. Turn on your faucets. If the water is only trickling out or not coming out at all, you should
suspect a frozen pipe.
2. Check the exterior walls or where your water comes into the home as this will be the
likely source of the frozen pipe.
3. Once the frozen section of pipe has been found, you can try to thaw the pipe starting
closest to the faucet by:
a. Soaking towels in hot water and wrapping them around the pipes.
b. Wrapping the pipes with an electric heat pad. (never do this if there is standing
c. Use a hair dryer (never do this if there is standing water nearby).
4. If the pipe has burst or bursts while trying to unthaw:
a. Locate and shut of the main water supply to the home.
b. Call a reputable plumber.
c. Clean up as much water as you can to minimize the damage to your home and
Those are just a few tips from Armed Forces Insurance on how to protect you home against
frozen pipes. With a little bit of prevention and home maintenance, you can ensure your winter
months go by uneventfully.
For a more detailed list of tools and resources on protecting your home against frozen pipes and
other home protection topics, head over to Armed Forces Insurance – Resources and Tools
page to learn how to protect your most valuable possession.
Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season.
As a military family, you need insurance that matches your needs and protects what you value
most. You deserve an insurance company that is committed to serving you. MilHousing Network
is proud to partner with Armed Forces Insurance to bring military families reliable homeowner’s
insurance options when buying a home. Contact them today at 800-313-1936 or visit
www.afi.org/milhousing to learn how they can support your unique military lifestyle.