Cold New Jersey winters can cause plumbing pipes to freeze and even burst, resulting in costly damage to your home. 

Why do pipes freeze and why should you care? 

Water expands as it freezes. When it expands inside a pipe it puts great pressure on the pipe, enough pressure to rupture most any pipe filled with water. A burst pipe will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to your home. 

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Pipes that are exposed to severe cold are most at risk for freezing, including:

  • Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home such as an attic, crawl space or garage. 
  • Pipes in exterior walls 
  • Any plumbing on the home exterior

How to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting: 

  • Insulating pipes can shield them from severe cold. But beware; insulated pipes can still freeze when there is no water movement to keep the pipes warm. 
  • Run a steady drip of hot and cold water from your faucets when temperatures are at or below freezing. If your pipes are not insulated however, they can still freeze even with a small flow of water. 
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let in warmer air that will circulate around your plumbing. 
  • Keep the temperature in your home 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above. 

Pipe bursts happen, even when you do take steps to prevent it. If a pipe burst occurs there are important actions to take: 

  • Shut off the water
  • Turn off your heating system
  • Turn off electric devices
  • Cover your electricity main box
  • Call a plumber 
  • Protect your possessions – move furniture, clothing, etc. away from the burst pipe
  • Remove as much water as you can with buckets, pans, a sump pump or wet-dry vacuum
  • Use fans and a dehumidifier to dry the area
  • Call your insurer and record the damage if you think you may need to file a claim

For more information on protecting your pipes, visit AJPerri.com– a family-operated business based in Tinton Falls, founded in 197