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ST. LOUIS – The extreme cold settling in throughout the bi-state area could lead to many issues including water pipes bursting.

The experts at Hoffmann Brothers, a full home service provider in Brentwood, said kitchens are one area where significant pipe problems can develop. They say they are already starting to see pipe issues increase and they expect to see many more problems in the coming days.

To prevent pipes from bursting Hoffmann Brothers suggests:

  • Put faucets like a kitchen sink and bathtub on a drip to keep water moving in the pipes
  • Open cabinets and doors to let heat into areas where pipes are located
  • Turn the thermostat up a degree or two to have more heat moving through the home
  • Direct space heaters into problem pipe areas, as long as the space heater is used safely

Hoffmann Brothers said broken pipes become a big issue when temperatures drop into the teens or single digits. They say pipes near the exterior of homes are the most likely to break and that copper and galvanized steel pipes are the biggest culprits.

Pipes freeze before they burst and the break could happen relatively quickly, or it might not take place until a thaw takes place. Hoffmann Brothers said if you have a pipe that freezes, get some kind of heat to it then call out a company to help. The damage from pipes that burst can be very costly.

A release from State Farm Insurance said it paid out $60 million last year in frozen pipe property damage claims. Illinois had the most damage while Missouri was tenth on the list.