Winter brings its share of risks to your home, and one of the biggest threats is frozen pipes. While freezing temperatures might create a breathtaking winter wonderland outside, they can also cause problems indoors. You should know what to do if pipes freeze and burst in your home (and how to keep your pipes from freezing in the first place).
Pipes in unheated areas like attics or basements, as well as pipes that lead outdoors for swimming pool or sprinkler lines, are at the highest risk of freezing as the temperature drops. Because water expands when it freezes, this also means frozen pipes can more easily crack or break.
Get things running again with these tips from the Rogers team of water damage cleanup contractors.
How To Prevent Pipes From Bursting
It’s always easier to learn how to prevent pipes from bursting than it is to deal with pipes once they’re frozen. If you can, take these steps to minimize your risk:
- Seal any leaks along outside walls to prevent heat from escaping.
- Drain water from hoses, sprinkler lines, and swimming pools according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Close inside valves that supply water to outside. Keep the outside valve open so any remaining water can leak out.
- Add insulation to unheated areas like attics and basements.
- If you have water supply lines in your garage, keep your garage door closed.
- Even if you’re going out of town, keep your thermostat set at 55°F or above.
What To Do If You Have Frozen Pipes
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, chances are you’ve got a frozen pipe. You’ll want to thaw it out as quickly as possible to prevent damage.
- Find the frozen area. The most likely places to check are where your water service enters your home or against exterior walls.
- Leave the faucet open. Water running through the frozen area will help the ice melt, and as the pipe thaws, more and more water will flow through it.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. You can use a space heater, an electric heating pad, a hair dryer, or even try wrapping the pipe in hot towels. Do not use a kerosene or propane heater or anything with an open flame.
- Check the rest of the faucets in your home. If one pipe freezes, it’s possible other pipes are frozen as well.
- If you can’t restore full water pressure by yourself, or if a pipe is already damaged, call a professional.
Frozen pipes are no fun, but you don’t have to deal with them by yourself. Know what to do if you have frozen pipes, and if you need a hand, give our team of water cleanup contractors. Rogers Home Improvement has been serving the Terre Haute, Greater Wabash Valley, and Eastern Illinois areas for over 25 years.