As an unrelenting winter weather pattern continues to bring power outages and subzero temperatures across dozens of states this week, many Americans may be dealing with frozen pipes.
Water expands as it freezes, which puts pressure on metal or plastic pipes that can cause them to break.
Many homes, but not all, are built with water pipes nestled within a home’s building insulation to protect them from freezing temperatures. However, with extreme cold temps this week, your house may have weak spots making it susceptible to pipes freezing and possibly bursting.
Homes in the northern parts of the U.S. may be at less risk, but those in the east, mid-Atlantic and South could be more prone to freezing pipes. That’s because the farther south you go, the more likely a home may have pipes that are not insulated.
“Water pipes in the attic, for example, would be more common in the South,” Remington Brown, senior engineering director with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, previously told USA TODAY.
Also more at risk for freezing are pipes in basements, garages, crawlspaces, kitchens and other rooms with outside walls such as bathrooms.
If you discover you have a broken pipe, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, usually found at the water meter or where the main line enters your house, said John Galeotafiore, who oversees testing of home products and power gear for…