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Frozen pipe leaks and bursts cause property damage

The cold weather is freezing pipes across mid-Missouri, causing water damage in residences and office buildings.

The Columbia Fire Department has responded to at least 12 reports of water damage caused by frozen pipes. Buildings include Hickman High School, Mill Creek Elementary, Columbia Health Care and Lazer Lanes, as well as apartments and homes.

Some University of Missouri buildings also reported leaking pipes due to cold weather. Columbia and Jefferson City Public Schools, Stephens College, Columbia College and Mizzou have not delayed the start of school as a response to any pipe issues.

“It’s not unusual to see a lot of buildings with frozen pipes,” said Brad Frazier, assistant chief with the Columbia Fire Department. Frazier says the damage caused by breaks in water pipes can vary from minor leaks to major loss.

According to esurance, water damage caused by bursting pipes is the second-most filed insurance claim in the country.

If you discover a frozen pipe, there are methods for thawing it. Keeping the water inside the pipe moving helps break down ice and prevents it from accumulating, Frazier says. Making sure warm air is circulated around exposed pipes also helps keep it from freezing.

There are many other ways to prevent pipes from freezing, according to the Red Cross.

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