A burst pipe in your home, on average, can cost anywhere from $2,500 to an incredible $70,000, and even higher.

Pipes in attics, crawlspaces, and outside walls are all vulnerable to bursting in the winter. In New England, pipes in the walls are generally surrounded by insulation, so just keeping your home and especially your basement heated can prevent them from freezing.

Pipes typically don’t burst in frozen areas; the main source of a burst pipe is the area between the frozen water and a closed faucet, where water pressure has built up. Allowing faucets to drip overnight wastes a small amount of water, but it is certainly better than a basement full of it.

Here are some other tips to protect your home from frozen and burst pipes:

  • Seal crack and holes in outside walls with caulking if pipes are close to exterior walls
  • Insulate at-risk pipes to slow the transfer of heat
  • When leaving on a trip, consider draining the system and shutting off the main valve
  • Some pipes can be re-routed away from cold areas by a plumber
  • Keep cabinet doors open if the cabinets contain pipes
  • Try slowly thawing the pipe with a hair dryer starting from the faucet end of the frozen pipe