Freezing pipes are one of the most costly and severely inconvenient claims you can have at your home. Even a small crack in a plumbing pipe can release a few hundred gallons of water per day causing serious damage to your property and creating the immediate potential for mold exposure to your family! During the coldest months of the year, we want to offer insights that help prevent the financial burden or possible (temporary) relocation of your family and their belongings due to this type of loss.
Identifying a Problem
A.) If a faucet is turned on, but no water flows, this can be a sign of frozen pipes!
B.) If a faucet is off, but there exists the sound of running water, this can be a sign of a plumbing leak!
Residents occupying a home or employees in a business must know where the main waterline shut-off is located. Common locations include: inside a garage, basement, laundry room, utility room, or underground in a front or back yard.
Keep the phone number of a licensed plumbing contractor and your local utility company in a visible and accessible location within the home or business.
Prevention – Interior & Exterior
Run a trickle or slow drip of warm water at night from a faucet on an exterior wall.
Drain pipes in seasonal, vacant, or infrequently visited residential or commercial properties.
Close crawl space vents and place insulation over the openings.
Keep garage doors closed to maintain maximum heat (especially when a laundry or bathroom is adjacent).
Open bathroom vanity doors to allow more heat inside, if pipes run along an outside exterior wall.
Leave the heat on, even when the home or business is unoccupied. Set temperatures no lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit on all thermostats across multiple heat zones.
Caulk gaps around doors and windows or repair weather stripping.
Check the attic, walls, electrical outlets, switch-plates and basement areas for adequate insulation.
Disconnect and store all garden hoses.
Turn off and drain external faucets and sprinkler systems. You may need to call your sprinkler company to blow out any leftover water in the underground lines.
What To Do If Pipes Freeze or Burst
If pipes are frozen, leave the faucets on and immediately call a plumber.
If pipes have burst, turn off water at main valve shut-off.
Turn off electrical appliances near any standing water.
NEVER attempt to heat a frozen pipe with an open flame of any kind!
It’s possible to warm a smaller, frozen pipe with a blow dryer by using a low, warm setting close to the faucet and very slowly working your way out to the most frozen section.