Bursting pipes are a problem but non-existent pipes are even worse!
PuroClean Restoration Services of Cranford, NJ, completed a job for a minister who had a house with water damage, because someone came in and stole all the copper piping from inside his walls! We had to mitigate mould damage — cut the walls, and rebuild them after.
Even though we hope most of us will never experience this kind of theft, frozen pipes are still a real danger.
When water cools, its density increases and it settles to the bottom of a container. However, at 32º F, it expands and, therefore, its density decreases! This expansion increases the volume of water by about 11% and creates tremendous pressure on its container. No matter the strength of a material, expanding water will cause it to break.