AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - According to a new report from Allstate, the number of burst pipes increase by 309 percent during the winter months.
When water freezes it expands and when this happens in copper or PVC piping, the pressure on the pipes causes them to crack and burst.
These types of accidents can be extremely costly because they typically occur when no one is home.
"The family leaves for the holidays and forgets to set the thermostat, then a cold spell comes in and causes the pipes to burst," Clark Damon, an Allstate Insurance Agency Owner, said. "The damage can be extensive because the water can flow for hours or days until the neighbor sees the water in the driveway or the homeowner returns."
A relatively new material of piping called PEX is more flexible and can withstand the pressure exerted from expanding freezing water.
Due to it's flexibility, it also requires less joints which minimizes the chances of pipes bursting.
"You can draw 100 ft. piece of PEX and not put any joints in it at all," Mike Romero, the Home Depot Plumbing Department head, said. "Whereas with copper you have to have a joint it here and joint there and you need the skills to set those joints."
In addition to its ability to withstand colder temperatures, PEX is also less expensive than it's copper and PVC counterparts.
The major drawbacks to PEX piping is that it can't be buried or exposed to direct sunlight.