What You Need to Know About Frozen Pipes
Baby it’s cold outside…watch your pipes!
With cold temperatures still ahead of us, here are some tips to deal with one of the most common woes of winter – frozen pipes.
How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
- In very cold weather, let water drip from your faucet. This can help prevent freezing.
- Open kitchen, bathroom, and laundry cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing.
- Outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. Unscrew any hoses, and turn off the outdoor water supply to let those taps drain.
- Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, attics and garages.
- If your pipes are prone to freezing, consider contacting a plumber for advice on how best to protect your home.
What if your pipes are frozen?
- Turn on a tap in the basement, preferably the cold water faucet in the laundry room.
- Use a blow dryer to warm the suspected frozen pipe for one to two hours. Check the blow dryer regularly to ensure it does not overheat.
- Place a warm towel or rag around the suspected frozen pipe.
- Depending on the outside temperature and the extent of freezing within the pipe, the thawing process could take between one and six hours.
- If you suspect the pipes are frozen from a city source, call 311.
What if your pipes burst?
- Shut off your water and, if necessary, electricity.
Know where your home’s main water valve is (beforehand!) and shut it off immediately. Shut off electricity to the area where the water damage has occurred.
- Call a plumber.
Not all plumbing companies have 24-hour service, so it’s a good idea to research and choose one in advance so you’re not scrambling after water floods your house. Plumbing costs vary depending on where the pipes are located and what the damage is. You may also need to contact a water damage professional, particularly if carpeting, flooring, walls or ceilings are severely damaged.
- Start removing water.
You need to prevent mold and mildew buildup; mops, buckets, towels and a wet/dry vacuum may be needed.
- Take photos and notes…and call first.
You might be filing an insurance claim so make sure you document everything as well as you can. Once you have called the plumber and the damage warrants a claim to resolve it, contact your insurance company first before having any more trades into quote or move forward with the repairs.
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Grizzly Plumbing & Heating