In 2021, snow and frigid weather caused billions of dollars in damage resulting in hundreds of thousands of Texas insurance claims.
Take these steps now to protect your property in advance of freezing temperatures:
- Trim trees that have branches hanging over your house or cars.
- Seal leaks or cracks around bathroom and kitchen pipes.
- Test your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. Replace alarms that are 10 years old or more. If your battery-operated alarm has no date label, it’s outdated; replace it.
- Get your chimney inspected and cleaned. Creosote buildup can start a fire.
- Learn where your water shut-off valve is outside. It’s usually in an underground space under a cover near the street.
If freezing weather is in the forecast, you can:
- Cover outdoor faucets and exposed pipes. Also cover indoor pipes in unheated areas, like an attic or a garage.
- Run water through your indoor faucets – hot and cold – before you go to sleep. Or you can let faucets drip from the taps.
- Drain lawn sprinkler lines leading into your home.
- Turn off the water at the shut-off valve if leaving your house before a possible freeze. Also, leave your heat on.
If your pipes burst, your homeowners insurance could help. Most insurance pays for “sudden and accidental” damage. Frozen pipes and broken appliance hoses are common examples.
Have a question about insurance? Call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439 or visit www.tdi.texas.gov.