Well, winter took a while to get here, but it has arrived with a vengeance – and with that bitter cold comes the risk for a big winter problem: frozen water pipes.
Frozen water pipes can wreak havoc on your home, causing problems ranging from simple flood damage to mold growth and even structural damage. The good news is most frozen pipe problems are preventable with a few simple precautions.
Here are some tips to prevent and resolve problems cause by frozen pipes.
Before a cold snap
- Insulate pipes in areas exposed to colder air (crawl spaces, the attic, etc.).
- Seal air leaks near pipes, around dryer vents, and any other areas exposed to outside air.
- Shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
- Run a trickle of warm water overnight on especially cold nights.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night; overnight temperature drops could drop significantly and catch you off guard.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks.
If you leave for vacation or have a seasonal home
- Keep your thermostat set for a minimum of 55°F.
- Ask a neighbor to check your home during cold snaps.
- Follow all directions for “before a cold snap” above.
If your pipes freeze
- Never operate appliances in standing water.
- Never use an open flame to thaw pipes.
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with a hair dryer; start by warming the pipe close to the faucet, working toward the coldest section of pipe. If that doesn’t provide immediate and complete relief, call a plumber right away.
If your water pipes have burst
- Turn off water at the main shutoff valve in the house; teach everyone in your family where the water shutoff valve is and how to close it.
- Contact a plumber immediately!
For service on frozen pipes and other expert emergency plumbing services in any season, you can always count on Swezey Fuel. Contact us today to learn more.