Winter temperatures can put some of your pipes at risk of freezing. When this occurs, the water inside these pipes can put a significant amount of pressure on them, causing them to burst. If frozen pipes burst, they can cause serious water damage in your home. Keep the following tips on frozen pipes in mind this winter.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
Pipes are at risk of freezing when outdoor temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that some of your pipes are more at risk than others. These include pipes that run along exterior walls or pipes that run through unheated spaces in your home. How do you know if you have frozen pipes in your home? Look for any of the following signs:
- Trickle of water coming out of faucets rather than a regular flow
- Frost covering pipes
- Odd smells that come from drains or faucets, which can happen when frozen water blocks pipes and forces odors to drift into your home
Tips for Thawing Frozen Pipes
If you have frozen pipes in your home, it’s important to take immediate steps to begin thawing them out. This helps lower the risk of dealing with burst pipes and water damage.
- Keep the faucet running, which will help get rid of ice in frozen pipes as they thaw
- Soak towels in hot water, then wrap them around frozen pipes. You can also use a hair dryer or electric heating pad to thaw pipes. If you use a portable space heater to help thaw them out, make sure it isn’t near anything flammable.
- Never use anything with an open flame, kerosene or propane to thaw frozen pipes
- Keep thawing frozen pipes until the water pressure returns to normal. This helps ensure that the pipes are fully thawed.
- Check for other frozen pipes in your home by turning other faucets on
Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes
Since frozen pipes can lead to significant water damage, it’s best to take steps to prevent them from freezing in the first place. Before temperatures drop, you can do the following to reduce the risk of frozen pipes:
- Keep cabinet doors open in your bathrooms and kitchen, especially if the faucets are located along exterior walls. This allows heated air inside your home to keep the pipes warmer.
- Leave faucets running at a slight drip during cold snaps. Having water constantly moving through pipes helps prevent them from freezing.
- Avoid turning your thermostat down at night when the weather is extremely cold. Keeping it turned up helps ensure that enough warm air reaches exposed pipes.
- Leave your thermostat high enough to ensure that the heat comes on when it’s very cold out if you’ll be away from home for awhile.
- Use heat tape or pipe sleeves on exposed pipes, such as those under bathroom faucets, to insulate them during winter
What to Do if Pipes Burst
If you have frozen pipes that have burst, it’s important to have them repaired as soon as possible. If burst pipes cause water damage in your home, you’ll also need help from a restoration company. This helps lower the risk of mold growth and structural damage to your home from exposure to water. Our technicians have extensive training and can respond quickly to your call. Keep in mind that we document all work that’s done in order to make it easier for you to submit claims to your homeowners’ insurance company.
Give us a call today to learn more about our restoration services and to get help fast and reliable help for water damage.