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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Leaks Caused by Freezing

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Leaks caused by Freezing 

A common cold weather hazard faced by business owners is a frozen water pipe. When a pipe freezes, water may slow to a trickle or not flow at all. The pressure inside the pipe from expanding ice may eventually cause the pipe to burst.

Many property policies contain a "freezing" exclusion similar to that found in the ISO property policy. The exclusion precludes damage caused by water, other liquids, powder or molten material that leaks or flows from plumbing, heating, air conditioning or other equipment caused by freezing. This exclusion contains three exceptions. It does not apply to fire protective systems. For example, you own a commercial building that contains a wet sprinkler system (meaning the pipes are filled with water). A severe cold spell hits your area and several pipes in the ceiling freeze—one of the pipes bursts, causing water damage your office furniture, computers, and other personal property.

If you do your best to maintain heat in the building--for instance, you own a warehouse that is heated during the winter months. A power outage causes the furnace to shut off, and a plumbing pipe freezes—the pipe bursts, causing water damage to your equipment and inventory.

If you don’t maintain heat in the building, but you do drain the equipment and shut off the water or other liquid supply--for example, you own an unheated building that you use for storage. Before winter arrived, you drained the water heater and supply lines. Unfortunately, some water remained in the hot water line due to an undetected clog. The pipe froze and then burst. Leaking water caused damage to property you stored in the warehouse.


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