When winter approaches it's time to be aware of possible freezing pipes and the damage it can cause. Frozen pipes can lead to costly repairs. Knowing what to do if your pipes freeze can possible prevent a disaster. When it's freezing outside and you turn on your faucet but only get a dribble of water you probable have a frozen pipe. It's important you respond quickly to defrost the frozen pipe and avoid a broken pipe.
Learn how to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
First you need to locate where the pipe is frozen and then you can begin to thaw the pipe.
- The faucet needs to be kept open because once the thawing begins the water will flow and help melt the frozen pipes.
- Heating the pipe will melt the ice quicker. You could use a hair dryer or warm towels or a heating pad, even a heated pan of steam water put under the pipe would help. Be careful if using electrical appliances and don't leave them unattended. Use the method that works for you until the pipe is thawed and water flows again.
- Don't try using any flammable device such as a blowtorch to thaw the pipes. You could cause more damage to your home and the pipes.
Frozen Pipe Prevention
There are things you can do to help prevent your pipes from freezing during those cold winter days and nights which can save you time and money.
- When the weather prediction is for freezing or below it's time to turn a faucet on to drip. Find out where your water line enters into your home to avoid wasting water. If your water enters in the front of your home choose a faucet near the back of your house. This will allow a steady flow of water through your home.
- Look for any exposed pipes inside and outside and insulate them. You could simply cover inside pipes with inexpensive newspaper and masking tape. For outside pipes you can purchase insulating tape or sleeves to cover the pipes, and for exterior faucets there are domes that will cover them. In addition to protecting the pipes you may be saving money by using less energy to reheat water. If you have a garage, be sure to keep the doors closed.
- Setting your thermostat a constant temperature, especially when you are away from your home for an extended time, and opening cabinet doors below faucets can help prevent interior pipes from freezing.
If a Water Pipe Bursts
To minimize damage and prevent flooding you need to shut off the main water supply. Since most homeowners are inexperienced to repair pipes you probably need to call a professional for assistance.
You'll need to remove any items from the damaged area and if there is standing water try to dry as much as you can. A professional can clean and restore your property to its original condition. You may also need to contact your insurance company if you have extensive damage to your property.
A good restoration company can make sure your water or wind or fire damage is fixed right and that you're out of pocket damage liability is kept to a minimum. We've helped numerous home and business owners and they and their insurance company always appreciate our surgical approach to restoration!