One of the biggest things to help prevent burst pipes in the winter is to have a competent, professional caretaker or property manager for your property when it is unoccupied who will check the property on a regular basis, especially during prolonged periods of bad weather. We have seen the extreme damage caused by burst pipes (ceilings falling in, extreme water damage and issues with mold) and it is completely avoidable given some planning ahead and taking precautionary measures.
Increasingly, homeowners who are off-island in the winter are doing a partial drain of their homes and leaving the heat on low. Pipes that are most likely to freeze are those located in exterior walls or where the water enters your home through its foundation. Another problem is outdoor showers that have not been properly drained for the winter season. If one pipe freezes, it is likely that others may have as well. Know where the water main is to your home and how to turn it off.
The damage is caused not by the freezing of the pipes but, rather, by the unthawing of the frozen pipes which can cause cracks and burst pipes. Without proper attention, damaged and melted pipes could channel unwanted water into your home. If you suspect you have a frozen pipe, call your plumber immediately and, if you are on Town water, also call Wannacomet Water Company at 508.228.0022.