Freeze-Up FAQ

Home » Blog

Freeze-Up FAQ

Winter is fast approaching with freeze-up losses sure to follow. Many of our freeze-up investigations follow months and sometimes years later. Simple tools can help you decide when to investigate and how to preserve the evidence and records for subrogation or provide a basis for adjusting the claim.

When did it freeze?

Most losses are discovered when they thaw, usually after thermometercatastrophic losses.  Normally, weather temperatures need to go below 20F to cause a freeze up. Our experts use historical weather information to determine an accurate date when the freeze occurred.

Was there heat?

Once we know the freeze-up date we obtain fuel records. Commonly, if it is auto delivery, they publish a fuel use record based on heating degree days (HDD) also known as the K factor.

Add the total HDD between the fuel delivery and the freeze-up date. Divide this total by the recorded K factor and this should be consistent with the amount of fuel burned.

thermal image house

During the claim inspection, check the fuel meters, gauges and arrange to dip the tank for an accurate measurement of fuel left in the tank if it’s oil. If there was a delivery, obtain the amount of fuel delivered and if possible, gauge the tank or dip it to find out how much oil the tank holds. Most 275 gallon tanks can accommodate only 230 gallons. The air space at the top of the tank is what causes the whistle and the airspace allows for reaction time.

Our team of experts can educate you how to adjust these numbers for different thermostat settings and what to do when there is not a K factor to use other supplemental heat.

Construction Defects

You have a claim at a new house, how did the pipe freeze in an interior wall? Subro flag!!!

Heating systems are designed for comfort when the temperatures are below 10F or lower depending on location. If heat was on, there is a reason the pipe cooled off faster than it warmed up, insulation and/or heating defects are the normal cause.

This should be an automatic flag for further investigation.


Updated: August 12, 2014 — 6:06 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.