KGW along with other weather forecasters are warning us that a “deep freeze” is heading our way. Today’s seven day forecast has a low of 16 on Monday and 17 on Tuesday! The online graphic and TV broadcast do not match. I’ve talked previously about making sure that listings are ready for showings in winter months but whether your house is for sale, you own your house or you rent a house freezing pipes is serious business. Not being an insurance expert I wonder whether it is an act of God? Would a renter’s personal property be covered (under the landlord’s policy or renter’s insurance)? Would the renter or landlord be responsible for the pipe bursting in the first place (legal not insurance question). Probably a better idea to avoid the question by being proactive. We had a pipe burst in a rental a few years back but the basement was empty. Less than a dollar in parts and 15 minutes later, we were good to go.
For some with newer plumbing protecting hose bibs is as simple as shutting off the water with a turn of a lever. When I stopped by a hardware store in Sellwood today they were out of hose bib covers. I can’t find anything about how effective they are. I’ve used house insulation and duct tape previously. Pipes didn’t freeze so I’d assume better than nothing. State Farm has a page dedicated to preventing frozen pipes. Ideas include wrapping pipes, leaving a trickle of water running and a warning not to thaw frozen pipes with a torch or open flame. The Red Cross has a similar page. The lesson from both appears to be that it is not a case of set it and forget it. There are before the freeze and during the freeze suggestions. Both recommend leaving the heat on at 55 degrees or higher.