During the winter months when our temps drop below freezing we need to pay special attention to the water circulating throughout our home to prevent frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands and if it can do this to Niagara falls, imagine what it can do to your home!
Pipes most susceptible to freezing are the ones located on outside walls and in cold areas without warm air circulating around them. We can’t forget about outdoor hose bibs and pool supply lines. You also need to keep an eye on the water supply lines in the unheated interior areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages.
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Before winter comes there are several steps you can take to protect your home but if it’s too late here are some tips that can save your pipes from bursting and ruining ALL of your belongings:
One of our clients who was deployed at the time had a pipe burst, and such a little break caused a lot of damage!
Open cabinet doors that house water lines to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
Minimize the exposure to outside elements by keeping exterior doors closed as much as possible.
Wrap exterior supply lines with a towel, cloth or foam to add an extra layer of insulation from the fierce cold.
Keep faucets open to allow a slow trickle.
If you’re taking this opportunity to get out of town, lucky you! As a precaution leave the heat in your home set to a temperature no lower than 55° F and have a person designated to check on your home.
What to do if you Have Frozen Pipes
If you turn on a faucet and only a small trickle comes out, you may have frozen water in the line. If this happens, you should:
Apply heat to the section of pipe that has the blockage. You can use an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater, or even towels soaked in warm water. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or any other open flame device.
Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to heat the pipe on your own call us and we’ll send over our team to address the issue!