Winter has a certain amount of charm that comes with it — but when icy weather hits, and your pipes are ill-prepared, it can mean a long (and costly) spring.

Here’s what happens: When temperatures drop, trapped water in pipes can freeze. Since water expands when it freezes, it can cause the pipes to rupture and cause a flood. Instead of waiting before it’s too late, insulate your pipes now before really cold weather arrives.

Steps to follow:

Step 1: Insulate Pipes
This action step performs double duty, keeping hot water pipes warm and protecting cold water pipes from freezing. Take a look at the existing insulation. If the insulation or its tape is cracked or crumbles to the touch, it should be replaced. If the pipes have either wire or tape heaters, homeowners should contact the pipe heater’s manufacturer before attempting to insulate pipes.

Step 2: Old Man Winter
As a homeowner, you most likely will not need your hose or sprinklers this winter season. To that end, drain and store your lawn and gardening supplies before the first real freeze.

Step 3: Anti-Leak Technologies
Like any other industry, new technology is being developed to prevent water damage. One such product acts like a circuit breaker for the home plumbing system by monitoring a home’s entire water flow from a single position on the water main. Some insurers offer discounts to homeowners who use such technology.

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