Rare Snowfall and Cold Temperatures Across Alabama Bring Travel and Freezing Pipe Concerns

While a large part of of the country probably wouldn’t consider an inch of snowfall to be anything more than a dusting, it’s caused a little bit of a stir in a few Alabama counties. According to the Mobile-area Fox news affiliate WALA, authorities are reporting that more than an inch of snow has fallen across many parts of Alabama, with areas near Fort Payne accumulating 1.5 inches.

Some areas have received slightly more than that, according to DeKalb County’s emergency manager, with most of that occurring in higher elevation mountain areas. Some school districts even had to adjust schedules as the resulting slush quickly made for slick, dangerous travel conditions.

Travel concerns aside, there is another potential issue every homeowner should be acutely aware of and prepare for: The possibility of frozen water and sewer pipes.

Reports indicated that temperatures dipped into the low 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is right at the level when pipes start freezing and can become a real problem. When the outside temperature drops below 20 in homes with little or no insulation, water pipes are likely to freeze and break. According to IBHS, a one-eighth inch (three-millimeter) crack in a pipe can spew out over 250 gallons of water per day, destroying everything in its path.

One easy way to help prevent your pipes from freezing is to leave a faucet dripping slightly throughout the day and night. This allows a continuous flow of moving water in the pipes, thus reducing the chances that it will freeze.

Wrapping pipes with foam insulation is another great way to eliminate the risk of frozen pipes. This requires a little more work and is a better choice for homes with traditionally colder climates to deal with.

Letting your pipes freeze can result in serious damage that will cost you a lot more in the long run than simply dealing with easy maintenance today. Approximately 22% of all homeowner’s insurance claims are the result of water damage and freezing. The average cost is about $4,024 per claim.

Snowfall and brutally cold temperatures may be uncommon occurrences around these parts, but it’s important to protect yourself when they do come around.