Extreme cold causing problems for Saskatchewan property owners

The extreme cold which has settled on the Prairies in recent weeks has brought in temperatures in the -30s, with wind chills sometimes nearing -50 C.

The deep freeze has spelled problems for some people in Saskatchewan, whether it’s the large amounts of shovelling or vehicles not starting.

However, this type of weather can also create headaches when it comes to water pipes.

According to officials with SGI Canada, they have recorded 217 claims from Dec. 1, 2021 to Jan. 5, 2022 in the province due to water escape from frozen pipes.

In that time frame, 73 claims were out of Saskatoon while 51 were in Regina.

“We have seen an increase in the number of claims related to pipes rupturing, and with these frigid temperatures, it’s likely that we’re going to see more claims come in the next week or two,” said Kurtis Reeder, senior director for personal lines underwriting for SGI Canada.

He said the numbers seem to be up from what SGI Canada has seen previously.

“Compared to last year over that exact same time period, we had 191 claims versus the 217 we are seeing at this time,” Reeder explained. “It’s a pretty significant increase. Over 10 per cent more.”

Reeder mentioned from Jan. 2 to 5 alone they received 14 claims in Saskatoon and seven in Regina. Provincially, SGI Canada saw 37 claims in those four days.

He reminded residents that prevention is the most important thing to keep in mind during these extreme cold weather trends.

Reeder recommended people should look out for a drastic change in water pressure, which he said is the first sign there’s a frozen pipe in a person’s home. He also suggested to check for any cold areas around the home.

It’s not the only issue property owners can run into at this time of year.

Kelly Rapko, general manager of WINMAR Property Restoration in Saskatoon, said this time of year is always busy for them.

Rapko shared that they have seen a lot more claims regarding condensation and ice damming in recent weeks.

“Condensation issues are happening from people breathing. A family of four will produce 30 to 40 litres of water into the air a week. With showering or bathing, things like that produce 15 to 20 litres of water into the air a week,” he discussed.

Rapko expects to hear about a lot more ice damming issues with milder temperatures forecasted next week.

He suggests people should take time to clear snow away from eavestroughs and make sure attics are properly insulated.

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