ORLANDO, Fla.— Most of us live happily in the Sunshine State, not having to worry about ice or snow most of the time. Instead, we welcome our fellow neighbors from up north, and help them spend a great time enjoying great outdoor events and activities at a time of the year when their home states can’t.
The one thing we must be aware and take care of is damage to your home from frozen pipes on those days when the temperatures drop significantly and reach freezing levels or below 30 degrees.
A gallon of frozen water will expand 9 percent versus its original volume. Ice blockage is more likely to happen below those 30 degrees.
Cold wind reaching unprotected pipes help increase the formation of ice.
The water pressure between the ice inside a closed faucet will provoke the bursting of the pipe.
To avoid frozen pipes, EVEN IN FLORIDA, you must make sure they are properly insulated. All the inside valves for outside spigots (hose bib) must be shut off and the hose bib must be open to allow water to drain.
DID YOU KNOW A BURST PIPE COULD GENERATE AN AVERAGE INSURANCE CLAIM OF $18,000? That is so because a pipe that is frozen or had burst can produce a series of costly damages such as damage to a drywall, interior flooding, mold and multiple other situations.
Another thing that is very important to keep in mind, especially if you need to leave on vacation, is to maintain your heat at a minimum of 65 degrees. This is something most of us never think about when we live in Florida, but newscasts always try to alert when freezing temperatures will be approaching and most of the time they’ll remind us about the preventive work that needs to be done.
According to the National Weather Service freeze warnings will be issued when temperatures are forecast to be below 32°F within the next 24 hours. A hard freeze warning will be issued if the temperature is expected to be below 28°F for at least three hours. Hard freezes occur in rural areas in the interior of South Florida about once every ten years, and less frequently along coastal metropolitan areas.
NOBODY WANTS TO START THE NEW YEAR WITH THIS KIND OF CHAOS AT HOME.
If you think temperatures can drop to this level while you are out of home, you can even leave the faucet dripping slightly, as a preventive measure. When the water is flowing it is more difficult for it to freeze.
If you think you could find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to know exactly what your policy covers. Learn about the specifics of your policy and make sure to ask about common winter damage. It’s also a good idea to ask them about common claims they see in your area this time of year and check if you are covered for those.
Because of normally mild temperatures, Florida homes often lack adequate heating and insulation. Also, the Florida outdoor lifestyle can lead to danger for those not prepared for freezing temperatures. In addition, freezing temperatures in South Florida can cause widespread damage to sensitive plants and crops.
Fortunately, overnight temperatures rarely drop below freezing in South Florida, especially along the coasts. Inland areas are more susceptible to below freezing temperatures, primarily during the middle part of January. In addition, inland sections of the metropolitan areas are more likely to experience freezing temperatures than coastal areas.
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!