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Winter Resilience: A Guide to Preventing Frozen Pipes and Water Damage

Updated: Jan 19

As extreme weather sweeps across the country, the threat of frozen pipes and water damage becomes a pressing concern for thousands of churches. UMIP is committed to helping you navigate the challenges posed by harsh winter conditions.

Frozen pipes are a common occurrence in cold climates and can lead to significant water damage and financial loss. When water freezes inside pipes, it expands, putting pressure on the pipe walls. This pressure can cause pipes to burst, resulting in extensive damage to your church building, furnishings, and important documents.

Prevention Tips

1. Insulation is Key: Ensure that all exposed pipes are adequately insulated, especially in areas where temperatures may drop significantly, like basements, crawl spaces, and attics.

2. Maintain Heating Systems: Regularly check and maintain your church's heating system to prevent freezing in susceptible areas.

3. Seal Cracks and Openings: Identify and seal gaps or cracks in walls, windows, and doors. Cold air drafts can contribute to freezing temperatures inside the building.

4. Allow Faucets to Drip: During extremely cold nights, allow faucets to drip slowly. This can relieve pressure within the pipes and reduce the risk of freezing.

5. Disconnect and Drain Outdoor Hoses: Before winter sets in, disconnect and drain water from outdoor hoses. Store them in a sheltered area to prevent damage.

Emergency Preparedness

1. Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves: Familiarize your team with the location of water shut-off valves. In case of a burst pipe, a quick response can minimize damage.

2. Create an Emergency Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive emergency response plan that includes steps to be taken in the event of frozen pipes or water damage. Ensure that all staff members are aware of the plan.

3. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of the church property, especially during winter months. Identify and address potential issues before they escalate.

Insurance Coverage

Confirm that your insurance policy includes coverage for water damage caused by frozen pipes. Review your policy with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate protection in place.


Take the first step in safeguarding your church against the potential risks of frozen pipes and water damage! Request a personalized quote now for peace of mind and financial protection.


Find additional information from our lead carriers, Church Mutual, GuideOne, AmTrust Financial, and The Hartford for materials below that were used in the creation of this resource.


This content has been prepared by United Methodist Insurance Company (UMI) for informational purposes only. No article or document may accurately contemplate all possible scenarios or church resources. As such, this information is meant to foster discussion by the individual church and its members to develop a plan tailored to its own circumstances. UMI is providing this information with no warranties or guarantees of any kind and it should not be viewed as legal, financial, or other professional advice. All liability is expressly disclaimed. Any claim examples described herein are general in nature, may or may not be based on actual claims, and are for informational purposes only. Any coverage available for a claim is determined from the facts and circumstances of the claim as well as the terms and conditions of any applicable policy, including any exclusions or deductibles. In the event of a conflict with the content herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control. Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.

The commercial insurance coverages for United Methodist Insurance are sold and serviced directly or indirectly by Sovereign Insurance Agency (CA Lic. No. 0B01380) ("Sovereign") and underwritten by various available insurance markets. Sovereign pays United Methodist Insurance a royalty for the use of its intellectual property.


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