How to Avoid Getting Frozen Water Pipes
We’re getting into the colder part of the year now, and frozen water pipes are becoming a greater threat. Here’s some great tips to follow to prevent this from happening to you. Not only will these tips save you the trouble of broken pipes and gushing water, but you’ll also save yourself a lot of money in repair fees.
When the weather begins to get cold, you should insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. Pipelines in an unheated garage or cold crawlspace under the house can freeze. Wrap the water pipes to insulate before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores have pipe wrapping materials readily available for homeowners.
Be sure to seal off access doors, air vents, and cracks. Repair broken windows to keep the cold winter winds outside where they belong. Check seals around doors and windows and if necessary, reapply caulking to areas that cold air leaks in through. It wouldn’t hurt to check the caulking around pipes, your shower or tub, or anywhere else something exits the interior of your home to the exterior or crawlspace and reapply caulk as needed to make sure there’s no air leaking into your house. You should also consider winterizing your windows to help secure heat inside and keep the cold out – and lower your heating bill!
Find the master shutoff to your water. The master valve may be near the water heater or washing machine. Make sure that everyone in your household knows where it is in case a pipe should burst. Acting quickly can prevent flooding and thousands of dollars in repairs. If you’re worried about your pipes freezing on a particularly cold night (less than 20 degrees), run a minimal amount of water out of your faucets. A small steady stream of water will be enough to keep your pipes from freezing.
Another thing you should do is disconnect and drain any outdoor hoses. You should have all outdoor water connections, including irrigation systems, properly shut off during winter. A single overnight freeze can burst faucets and pipes, so it’s important to disconnect the hose and let the water drain.
So now you know how to prevent pipes from freezing, but what do you do if your pipes still burst?? First of all, call your plumber and tell them what’s happened. After they’ve been notified, locate your master shutoff valve. This will come in handy if things take a turn for the worst. Don’t try and melt the ice in the pipes by using fire, as heating one spot of the pipe can cause it to burst. Instead, use a hair dryer on low to distribute the heat evenly across the pipe. If you don’t have a hair dryer, then you can wrap the frozen section in rags and gently pour hot water across it. The rags help to distribute the heat from the water evenly.
In the event that the worst does happen, call the experts to help clean up any water damage caused by burst pipes or flooding. The trained professional water damage technicians at SERVPRO of Baxter, Boone, Fulton, & Marion Counties can help any time of day, any day of the year. If you should need our services, call us at (866) 445-8457, and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”