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Another reminder to protect your pipes in extreme cold

If you’re freezing in this chilly weather, you may want to check on your house’s pipes before they freeze too.

“The first clue is usually that the water’s not running somewhere,” said Pete Jarvis with AdvantaClean in Indiana. “The pipes will freeze and they’ll split, but if that’s still frozen it’s not going to start leaking, so get those waterlines shut.”

He said once you’ve found the frozen pipe, you can warm the pipes up to unfreeze them. He said you can use a hair dryer or heat gun, but you also want to be careful especially if your pipes are plastic.

You can add salt to your drains, but Jarvis said to never add hot water. The sudden temperature change could crack your pipe.

Also, know where your main water shut off is in your home, so you can prevent flooding when those pipes warm back up.

“Those really cold temperatures are really what create the risk,” Jarvis said. “The actual flooding event, or the damage event occurs once those pipes thaw.”

Over the past decade insurance companies have paid about $4 billion in claims for frozen or burst pipes, said the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

So, how can you protect your pipes from freezing?

Insulate exposed water lines

Seal leaks or cracks around pipes in the bathroom or kitchen

Leave bathroom/kitchen cabinet doors open

Keep thermostat at same temperature day and night

Remove hoses from outside faucets

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