Content provided courtesy of USAA.

The mixture of warm air inside your home and freezing temperatures outside can lead to leaky roofs and burst water pipes.

To help avoid the costly damage that can result, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety offers these suggestions:

• Ventilate your attic and insulate the attic floor to stop warm air in the house from melting the snow and ice on the roof. This keeps the ice and snow from melting, refreezing and creating ice dams that can keep water from draining, increasing the risk that it will leak into the attic or walls.
• Wrap exposed pipes with insulation sleeves to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
• Caulk cracks and holes near pipes in outer walls and the foundation to protect them from cold air.
• Leave kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
• Trickle water through faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.
• If your house will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, shut off and drain your water system.
• As storms approach, you’ll need to take additional precautions. The

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes recommends:

• Installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
• Removing garden hoses and draining water from spigots.
• Keeping the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.

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