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    Prevent Bursting Pipes this Winter with These 5 Tips

    When the weather gets below freezing, outside water can freeze and burst exterior pipes. This can cause water damage in the home and is a costly repair! Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep your pipes warm and undamaged through the winter months.

    1. Keep the temperature of outside buildings at 65 degrees.

    If you have a pool house or smaller guest home on your property, or if your home has multiple heating zones in areas like the basement or attic, you’ll want to keep the temperature in these areas set at a minimum of 65 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing in the winter months. If you have a vacation home that you won’t be using this winter, consider turning off the main water supply to the building and draining the pipes while you’re away.

    2. Insulate outside walls that contain pipes.

    Walls that face the exterior of your home will get much colder than interior walls when the temperature outside drops. If your exterior walls contain plumbing elements, consider adding an extra layer of insulation to further protect your pipes. If you find moisture buildup or mold on any interior wall surfaces, or if you notice surface cracking and nails popping out, you may want to reinsulate those walls or use spray foam for an added layer of protection.

    3. Install snap-on insulation.

    Pipes in unheated areas such as garages, attics, and crawl spaces are particularly vulnerable to bursting in winter weather. If you have pipes in unheated areas, you can add snap-on insulation to protect these pipes from freezing. If you don’t have snap-on insulation handy when the temperature drops suddenly, you can try cutting a pool noodle in half and taping that around your pipes.

    4. Disconnect hoses and drain exterior faucets.

    Take steps to avoid frozen pipes by disconnecting water hoses and letting exterior faucets drain out completely. If temperatures drop sharply overnight, let a small stream of water trickle out of the exterior faucet to prevent potential pressure buildup that could cause pipes to burst.

    5. Review your homeowners insurance policy.

    Homeowners insurance helps protect your home (and pocketbook) against water damage from burst pipes and other covered events. There are ways to save money on your homeowners insurance, such as bundling multiple policies with one company to cover your home and car. Consider talking to your insurance agent about other ways to lower your rate.

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    Tyreo Harrison

    As Executive Vice President, B2C Channel Development, Tyreo Harrison enables referral partners and financial institutions to offer personal, commercial and surplus lines insurance products to increase non-interest income, improve borrower retention and add value to their service offering. He maintains his General Lines Agent Licenses for Property and Casualty, Life, Accident, Health, and HMO. He is a graduate of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lab and in 2008 was named as one of the San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars. Prior to joining SWBC in 2005, Tyreo played professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.

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