MEDFORD, Ore. -- While Winter has not officially begun, winter conditions are hitting parts of the Rogue Valley. Local plumbers are advising homeowners to begin winterizing their homes as temperatures continue to consistently drop. One of the biggest issues with winter weather includes freezing pipes.
"It doesn't happen a lot around here but usually every five to 10 years we'll get a really cold snap where things will freeze and break," said plumber John Vaughn with Tanks Plumbing. "Generally it seems like it's right around the holidays An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in a situation like that."
According to the Insurance Information Institute, each year, one in 50 insured homes report a property damage claim related to water damage and freezing, which also accounted for 45 percent of all 2015 homeowners insurance claims in the nation. About one in 35 insured homes have property damage claims related to wind and hail each year. The Insurance Information Institute claims that overall, the average property damage claim from 2011 to 2015 was $9,640.
"The best thing to do if you can't insulate or keep heat on your pipes, is to keep water moving through them. The movement of the water through them will keep them from freezing and that's a good rule of thumb."
Some helpful tips from local plumbers include:
- Shut off the water to your outside fixtures and drain them
- Remove the hose from the outside faucet
- Cover your outside faucets with insulating foam cover. Or wrap in newspaper and duct tape, then cover them with a plastic bag
- Close your outdoor vents
- Keep pipes warm under bathroom and kitchen sinks by opening cabinet doors