Frozen pipes that burst can be catastrophic to your home, health, and bank account. Burst pipes can lead to structural damage, mold, and flooding, all of which are expensive to remedy. With freezing temperatures on the way, it’s crucial to know how to prevent frozen pipes.
Although it is a preventable problem, many homeowners, especially those living in warmer climates, are susceptible to frozen water pipes. Homes in warmer regions may not have water lines that are adequately insulated, meaning they’re more likely to freeze and burst during cold snaps. No matter where you live, it’s essential to take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Let your faucets drip. This can relieve pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipe freezes, this may prevent it from bursting.
- Insulate attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements. Using insulation to maintain heat in your home can save you money and help prevent frozen pipes.
- Open bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors. This will allow heat to circulate around the pipes keeping them warm. Consider leaving interior doors open as well so warmth can quickly spread throughout your entire home.
- Keep the heat on at a steady temperature, even if you go out of town. Do not turn the heat down when you go to sleep. It’s more common for pipes to freeze and burst overnight due to drops in temperature. Keeping the heat up may result in costly utility bills but it’s much cheaper than repairing your home due to water damage.
- Seal all cracks, holes and openings around the house. If cold air gets inside, your pipes may freeze. Look for cracks and leaks near pipes, vents and wiring. Seal the leaks with caulk.
- Drain water from swimming pools, hoses and sprinkler systems. Close inside supply valves to outside hoses and keep outside valves open to relieve pipe pressure.
- Insulate water pipes, especially those that are exposed. Pipes can be wrapped in heat tape or pipe sleeves to prevent freezing.
- Keep the garage door closed. Pipes located in the garage may freeze if the garage door is left open.
What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
If you turn a faucet on and it only drips or nothing comes out, you might have a frozen pipe. While it is possible to thaw your own pipes, call a plumber in case a pipe has already burst. If you thaw a pipe that is broken, water can come through it and flood your home.
If you find any pipes that have burst, turn off the main water supply and call a professional. While inspecting your home, if you find yourself in standing water, do not turn on any electricity or electric appliances. Otherwise, you may be electrocuted. While you wait for a plumber, keep the affected faucets open.
If you experience water damage due to frozen pipes, home insurance can help. Not sure what your policy covers or if it’s enough? Contact our team today for a quote!