Pipes in homes can and will freeze if not properly protected. Often times when pipes freeze, they can burst spewing gallons of water into a home. However, there are steps that a homeowner can take to prevent pipes in their home from freezing.
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
-Put adequate insulation around pipes that are vulnerable to cold air
-Wrap vulnerable pipes with heat tape
-If possible/practical, use an indoor valve to shut off water supply to outdoor faucets during the winter. All hoses should be disconnected from outdoor faucets in the winter months.
-Keep water dripping or trickling from faucets farthest away from where the water enters a home. This will keep water moving throughout most of the plumbing and help prevent freezing.
-If there are pipes that are not insulated and are near an exterior wall under a sink, leave the cabinet doors open to let warm air under the sink.
-If a homeowner plans to be away for a few days, they should leave the heat on. Homeowners should take note that the heat does not have to be on high but needs to be enough to discourage freezing.
-An alternate plan when leaving is to shut off water, drain water supply by opening a faucet at the lowest point in the home and putting antifreeze in the toilet bowl and in the traps under sinks and tubs.
What to do if Pipes still Freeze
Sometimes, despite a homeowner’s best efforts, pipes still freeze. But how does a homeowner go about thawing the pipes?
-Expose a boxed in area to inside heat. An example is opening some ceiling tiles if the home has a drop tile ceiling.
-Use a heat gun. However, homeowners should be extremely careful with this option as the heat gun will ignite wood and paper.
-A homeowner should never use torches to thaw pipes
-Rubbing pipes with warm, damp towels may help to thaw the pipes slowly.
-If a homeowner is without water for an extended period of time then they should pay attention to the hot water heater and boiler.
What if Pipes Break?
If a pipe breaks after freezing a homeowner should immediately turn off the water supply. If extensive damage has been done from the burst pipe, call your insurance company and a mitigation company.
First Choice Restoration’s highly trained water cleanup and restoration team will take the needed professional approach to solving your water issues. To help restore your home and get back your peace of mind, call us now at 800.370.0770.
When disaster strikes, and you need water cleanup! Call First Choice Restoration! We are here for you!