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Freezing pipes, flooding major issue for homeowners in winter

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For many homeowners, freezing pipes and flooding are major issues in the winter. 

These issues are largely caused by improper insulation in the home.  Experts say icicles hanging from the roof are a sure sign of poor insulation.

"If you have icicles on your house it's a sign of a problem that needs some investigation." said Al Scott, president of First Response Disaster Restoration Specialists. "Cold air is going to find a small crack to get through, then the real high cold winds will force that air to penetrate even deeper into the structure."

This causes water in the pipes to freeze and expand, and eventually causes the pipes to burst.

Specialists say this happens often in empty houses or houses that are on the market during the winter.

First Response technicians say there are ways to prevent your pipes from freezing. 

They recommend keeping a slow drip running from your faucet; flowing water will keep the pipes from freezing.  Also, opening cabinet doors to allow heat from your home to surround the pipes under your sinks, and most importantly, make sure your home is properly insulated.

And if you plan to go out of town for a long period of time during the winter, they say it is best to turn off the water to your house completely.

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