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For homeowners, frozen pipes are a common problem in winter. When your home’s water pipes freeze, it creates a lot of pressure inside the tube. The tension causes the pipes to burst, leading to serious flooding and structural damage.

The more the temperature plummets, the more there is a risk of your home’s pipes freezing and bursting. Luckily, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to ward off the mess. Save yourself from hefty repair bills and a lot of inconvenience by simply following these tips below!

Things To Do Before Winter

  1. Turn off the water supply to the faucets outside your home. Leave them slightly open to allow any remaining water to expand when freezing.
  2. Insulate all the areas in your home that contain water pipes, including your garage and attic.
  3. Insulate your water pipes with bands of insulation, especially those that sit near the exterior walls. Insulation bands can easily be bought from home improvement stores.
  4. Seal your windows to keep the harsh wind outside. Also, check the electrical outlets and dry vents for air leaks. If found, seal the leaks as quickly as possible.
  5. Have a patch kit at home at all times! This will help you to temporarily seal off the burst pipes until you can ask for a plumber to do the permanent repair.
  6. Keep a professional plumber’s number handy who can help you in case of an emergency.

Things To Do In Winter

  1. Shut off the water system completely for winter months. If you have a fire sprinkler system in your home, make sure that it has been turned off too.
  2. If you haven’t insulated your pipes before winter, this is the perfect time to do it. Use an approved pipe wrapping material to cover your pipes.
  3. Empty the outdoor hoses and water pipes from water and disconnect them.
  4. Let a thin stream of water flow through your pipes. Also, keep the cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach un-insulated pipes under sinks and inside the cabinets.
  5. Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature throughout the day. Don’t give any unexpected temperature drops to catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  6. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Things To Do Before Leaving For Vacation

Your pipes need care even when you are not there. Try these few tips to ensure that your pipes do not freeze.

  1. Leave your thermostat on when going on a vacation for a few days. It is best to set the thermostat no lower than 55°F. Also, make sure that the batteries have been replaced.
  2. Ask any of your friends or neighbors to check your house daily and ensure that it is warm.
  3. Double check if you have turned off the water system properly.

When Pipes Freeze

Despite all the precautions if your pipes freeze, use the following methods to thaw your frozen pipes!

  1. You can use warm air from a hair dryer, a space heater, or a heat lamp to thaw your pipes. Slowly warm the entire pipeline, starting from faucet toward the coldest section of pipe.
  2. You can also wrap the freezing pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape, hot towels, or rags to defrost them.
  3. If any of these techniques don’t work, leave the faucets open and call a plumber.
  4. Avoid using electrical appliances near stagnant water. Also, never use an open flame to thaw pipes.

When Pipes Burst

Here are a few things to do when you find yourself with a burst pipe.

  1. Shut off the water immediately.
  2. Remove all electrical appliances from the area to avoid electrocution.
  3. Contact your local claims office to find a vendor that specializes in emergency water mitigation services.
  4. Call a licensed plumbing professional as soon as possible.

Need professional repair or maintenance services for your frozen pipes? Contact our experts at Snell Plumbing Heating & Air today!